A food manufacturer in Cambridgeshire is campaigning to bring Stilton cheese back to its rightful home, the village of Stilton.
There has been increased dispute over where the dairy product was originally made but new historical evidence has shed some more light on its birthplace. Richard Landy, Stilton historian, has unearthed information which links the cheese to the village in 1722. A recovered pamphlet which dates back to the time connects the produce to the Bell Inn which is located in Stilton, however others refute these claims stating that it was merely sold in the village and not made.
Current EU laws state that Stilton can only be produced in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as they are believed to be the original source of the cheese but these new findings have led the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to launch a consultation. The organisation is seeking the public's view on whether or not to amend Stilton's Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
A spokesperson from Defra, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: "This consultation has been launched after we received applications from businesses wanting to change to the Stilton product specification. This is an opportunity for all interested parties to now have their say on how this cheese is classified in the future."
Billy Kevan, general manager of Colston Bassett Dairy, which makes both Stilton and Shropshire Blue Cheese explained to the news provider that the cheese which was produced in the village was not the product that we know today but was similar to Parmesan. While it was not the traditional blue cheese it was still deemed to be the product of the Stilton village hence taking its name.
Sales of Blue Stilton have suffered over the last two years as people under the age of 45 are being put off from purchasing the produce. Industry officials that the 18 per cent drop was related to younger people being afraid of eating mould. It has promoted The Co-op to launch the Save Our Stilton campaign which is aimed at preserving one of Great Britain's national treasures.