15 November 1996

Stilton story well told

BRITISH cars, electrical goods and motor bikes may not be in worldwide demand any more, but a peculiarly English product, Stilton cheese, is one of our largest exports to the USA.

This painstakingly researched book* tells the Stilton story in old pictures and photographs from its first recorded manufacture in the 1560s to the present day. The cheese originated in Cambs but now can only legally be made in Leics, Notts and Derbys.

The author obviously loves his subject and among the historical information can be found some delicious-sounding recipes and pictures of stately cheese stands designed specifically for Stilton. We even get a quote from a Rider Haggard book where a dairywoman reckons that with the exception that they made no noise, making Stiltons was more trouble than babies.

My appetite was thoroughly whetted for the port and Stilton stage at my next dinner party.JE

*The History of Stilton Cheese by Trevor Hickman. Alan Sutton Publishing (£7.99).