Cropwell Bishop Stilton … heritage cheese making


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Cropwell Bishop Stilton is a name synonymous with fine cheese making. The Skailes family have been making and selling cheese for more than 160 years. Today, cousins Robin and Ben Skailes oversee the running of the cheese dairy with their fathers David and Ian. Using traditional methods passed down by their grandfather, the Skailes’ continue to produce award winning Stilton of the finest quality.

Cropwell Bishop Stilton is made by artisan cheesemakers who separate the curds and whey and then add rennet and starter cultures to the milk with the blue mould spores that give Stilton its distinctive flavour. The next process is milling where the curd is broken into small pieces which form the basis of the cheese. The cheese is transferred to moulds and then after four days it is removed from the mould and smoothed to seal the cheese and stave off the growth of the blue mould until a later stage in the maturation process. The cheese is stored for five weeks in maturing rooms where they gradually develop the richness that is so much a part of their appeal. After five weeks they are pierced to enable the blue mould to develop and give the cheese its characteristic veined appearance. The piercing is repeated a week later and then each cheese is individually graded, packaged and dispatched.

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