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Stilton etiquette

Have you ever deliberated over the correct way to eat our delicious Stilton? Cropwell Bishop Creamery’s man in the know, Robin Skailes, gives us his indispensable tips on Stilton etiquette…

Stilton etiquette in England has long been a talking point at dinner parties across the land. Should one use a spoon or scoop? How should one slice the cheese, like a cake perhaps?

One thing is for sure, you should never; repeat never, "Nose a Stilton". That's like keeping the rare roast beef for yourself and giving your guests the overdone stuff.  Nosing the Stilton is stealing the moist centre whilst leaving the drier outside for your neighbour, which is a serious Stilton faux paux! Always cut a wedge into slivers lengthways to avoid nosing the cheese and potentially causing considerable offence.  Many an argument has been caused this way.

If eating half a Cropwell Bishop Stilton, the bestway is to start slicing from around the edge of the cheese horizontally, like you're cutting around the cheese's belly, so the opposite of cutting a cake vertically.  If one wants to use a spoon or scoop, then scoop a helping from the centre of the Stilton and place on your plate. You can use a knife and fork to eat your Stilton, or rest morsels of Stilton on a biscuit before eating with you're fingers, both are acceptable.  Bread is a great alternative to biscuits.

What should one pair with Cropwell Bishop Stilton?  Port is excellent (eat the cheese drink the Port separately), pudding wine is particularly fine as well.  Any full-bodied red, a Claret maybe?  I find most alcoholic drinks in quantity work well.  Try an Alsace, which has a little more sweetness to cut through the blue notes in the cheese.  A sherry is very agreeable, namely Pedro Jimenez.  Seppeltsfield vintage style port is also worth a try. Port should never be poured into the centre of the cheese.

There are many accompaniments to eat with Stilton; honey is one of my favourites.  Any chutney or sweet jam works really well.  Some people like quince cheese.  I love it with walnuts and honey with a stick of celery, very indulgent but worth it.  A large piece of crusty bread and chutney is a firm favourite of mine too, its how the mood takes you.

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