Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How is Stilton made?

Last week, Katie and Lauren from Long Clawson Dairy came to our school to show us how our famous local cheese is made.

Every day, 80,000 litres of milk are brought to the dairy in tankers. After it has been delivered it needs to be pasteurised to kill the germs and then it is kept in a vat.

Then, rennet and starter culture are added to make the milk coagulate (turn lumpy). The curds (lumps) and whey (liquid) are separated and salt and the special mould penicillium roqueforti (to make the greeny-blue bits) are added to the curd. Then it is put into a cylinder for 5 days.

The cheese is then turned five times a day to empty out all the left over whey. Then it is taken out of the cylinder, but still turned regularly. Next the stilton is placed into a machine which makes tiny holes in the stilton with metal needles. This helps to let oxygen into the cheese, encouraging mould growth. After that the stilton is left for several weeks to let the mould spread thoughout the cheese.

It is then graded with grading iron to check the quality and mould growth of the cheese. After this whole process the cheese is then sold to companies like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and many more.

Only five companies are able to call their cheese stilton because you need a PDO (protected designation of origin). To make stilton you must have milke from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire or Derbyshire; the cheese must be made in a cylinder and have a golden brown crust.

More information can be found at:

By Louise, Olivia, Esther & Evie

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