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What cheeses are you looking forward to for Christmas



I suppose it’s tradition within places in how they made it.
Stilton is different though as the cheese is from Derbyshire, Notts or Leicester but traded traditionally in the village of Stilton in Cambs. It was exclusively sold through the Bell pub that was a Coaching inn on the Great North Road.
Stichelton cheese made at Welbeck Abbey in Derbyshire is not Stilton as it’s made from unpasteurised milk.
Like grape juice and wine, milk and cheese will have terroir differences (cow type, pasture, pasteurisation or not) and production nuances (pressing, crust development, use of rennet, introduction of air or microbes) that will make the final produce so diverse.
A cheeseboard is a cause of celebration.


Traditional Dunlop and Aiket (somewhere between a Brie and Chaource in style) from the local cheesemaker, Dunlop Dairy, bought from the farm direct as it’s a lot cheaper! If they have goats cheese we will get it too.

Probably Stilton, Wigmore if I can find it, and a washed rind of some kind - Durrus, Epoisses or similar.


Not sure it will be strong enough., but thanks for the suggestion.


Whilst in the general area of cheese and accompaniments could not help but notice the price of decent olives has gone through the roof, albeit there was a big crop shortage last year that surely doesn’t mean that olives are reaching printer ink prices, slight exaggeration, but I looked at a jar ofnice Sicilian olives in Waitrose last week and it looked as though they were about 50p each !


There is a looming parasite problem in olive orchards that is a big threat to olive trees across the Mediterranean.


I knew of the problem but the increase in olive prices has not been transferred to olive oil , yet, which is why I queried it.
The problem is huge in Puglia which is the engine room of olive production in Italy but it is a bacterium Xylella spread by a bug in their case and at the moment it appears to be still spreading, I read the cases of it and I believe like so many outbreaks of tree deseases resistant strains are found and replanting takes place but of course it takes years to get up and running again.
We have had a scare in this region with Ash tree die back but it seems to have slowed and been confined to certain areas, we have healthy ash trees here in an area at risk for some time and at our last house we had healthy elms that had survived the almost total wipe out of that species in the UK, it often is not known how these deseases will develop for some years into the blight that affects them.


Our Christmas fav is normally Shropshire Blue but we’re trying Bkacksticks Blue this year so let’s see, looks quite samey so let’s see…might need to road test this weekend!


Here is a potted Stilton. I used the Heston recipe, sort of. I did use the mascarpone and I have a delicious sherry vinegar that went in. I then added tawny Port to taste, ground Mace Til I could taste it, a dollop of English mustard then some chopped walnuts that give a nice crunch and complementary flavour.
I suggest holding back about a third of the Stilton to crumble and fold in so you get some bites of Stilton, not just the potted mush.
It’s topped off with toasted walnuts and coated in butter.


My god !! That looks incredible! Just aswell you don’t live near me … I’d be round for a sample :yum::yum::yum:


Not a million miles from here, but still just about too far. Damn, that looks good!


Wowsers, that looks good.


I would travel to be honest - looks great !

Have a party on Sunday night and there will be stilton…if any left (!!!) I might have a go at this


I think that is very sensible. I am contemplating not using the blender at all… just a fork.


A fork is what I used too. The effort of mashing is good for you. It’s the butter that needs softening. For others wondering whether to do it, it’s only about 15 minutes with the fork and the (pleasurable) faff of testing the taste as you go. It doesn’t have the most appetising of colours, but once the butter is on the top, or it’s in your mouth, no matter.


Already ordered, delivered & slumbering in the garage. 2 1/2 lb of Northumbria’s finest, an award winning collection judging by The Yorkshire Show this summer. And there is that bottle of TWS 1985 vintage port nearby.

Needs some snow outside…


My home county.
Love Reiver cheese. Cotherstone from Durham is another favourite.


I will be off to the Grainger market to see what delights are there a couple days before Christmas. I’ve made two types of Chutney this year to go with the cheese but looking at your potted Stilton, I may give that a go too … did you grind the mace in a coffee grinder ? (This is what I generally do when making garam masala) and also, how long do you think it will last for ? Thanks @DrEm.


Grinding the mace would be best, as long as it’s grinding, not blitzing which heats the spice (and coffee). Once under the butter, it’s supposed t last several weeks. Once the butter is cracked, a couple of weeks.
Grainger Market is great. I’ve been trying to get my youngest daughter who is in her first year at Newcastle Uni to shop there.


I agree, its great, there are some fabulous little shops and food suppliers there now. Next time you are up check out the Spanish tapas place called La Casa, its really good and Pumpherys for coffee. Also, if you’ve not tried the Turkish street food place its worth it.


With 4 good cheese outlets locally, I tend not to pre plan, but go and have a look around, taste and then decide on a few to present a balanced cheeseboard.