Simply put, I love blue cheese. When I was a little girl I’d sit on the couch and watch The Partridge Family eating blue cheese straight out of a carton with a spoon. (David Cassidy was always more interesting when I was snacking on the blue.) I find blue cheese better than gorgonzola although I honestly don’t believe I know the difference. Recently I was given the most royal of blue cheeses – Harrod’s Stilton Blue Cheese. Smuggled in from the vaulted food halls of Harrods, one of the most famous department stores, it was truly an amazing gift. When I saw the container for the first time, it was easy to imagine it nestled in one of the beautiful display cases, the ceilings ornate with chandeliers and the floors inlaid with Portuguese tiles.
Being a blue cheese lover you’d think I would have heard of this cheese. In fact, I’ve been to Harrods a few times and still this incredible cheese was a well-kept secret. Stilton is known as “The King of Cheeses” and has been produced for over 300 years. In the eighteenth century travelers who stopped along villages on their way to London experienced the unique flavor and texture of this incredible cheese. Only six dairies, using the original centuries-old recipe, are licensed to produce this creamy king of cheeses. The Harrod’s Stilton Blue Cheese is unique in that it is sold in a special container. From the moment you lift the lid you know you’re in for a treat. A thick layer of wax protects this “English Parmesan”. A gentle lift of the wax disc discloses a thick, marbled work of art. If you are lucky enough to try a bite it’s similar to a child eating ice cream for the first time. Or maybe this is a reaction for true blue cheese lovers. I’ve had it on crackers, sliced apples but refuse to use it to make a “tomato puff” or “Silton and spinach parcels”, popular stilton cheese recipes. It truly must be the star on your taste buds.
If you are in London, follow your nose and you’ll be in front of the Harrods cheese case. Also, if you’re willing to break out of London head to the village of Stilton where you’ll find a four-lane dual carriageway. Look for The Bill Inn which is still serving Stilton Cheese. The perfect adventure! For me, I’m going to enjoy another bite with a glass of chilled champagne. And thank you again to the brave soul who smuggled this gem over the pond. It was simply an amazing gift. (Thanks to the airline stewardess and hotels who kept it refrigerated as it made it’s way back to California!)