About Shropshire Blue Cheese
Shropshire Blue Cheese is a soft textured, mellow cheese produced using pasteurised cow’s milk and a vegetable rennet, making it suitable for vegetarians. The cheese is matured for around 12 weeks (though this can be extended for a further 12 weeks leading to a creamier, fuller cheese) and has a 48% fat content.
The cheese has a vividly contrasting colour, between the blue veins and the clear orange of the curd, produced by the addition of the natural food colouring, annatto.
Despite the name, the cheese was actually originally made by Andy Williamson, a trained blue cheese maker, at the Castle Stuart dairy in Inverness, Scotland in the 1970’s. The cheese trialed the names “Inverness-shire Blue” and “Blue Stuart”, but eventually rebranded as Shropshire Blue as a means of increasing popularity and acceptability of the cheese (as Scotland was not known for it’s Blues).
Unfortunately the Castle Stuart dairy was closed in 1980 and since then the Shropshire Blue cheese has been produced by dairies in and around Nottinghamshire, namely the Long Clawson, Leicestershire, Cropwell Bishop and Colston Bassett farms and dairies.
Shropshire Blue cheese has a strong and sharp flavour, similar to other Blue cheeses such as Stilton and Blue Cheshire, but substantially creamier. There is a sour, yeasty bite contained within the rich, mellowing taste, accompanied by a tangy aroma.
How to Enjoy
Shropshire cheese looks great, adding colour, and a Blue cheese option to any cheese board selection, but it is also exceedingly versatile as an ingredient for soups, sauces and as an addition to countless kitchen recipes.
Strong English brown ale, port or a sweet pinotage wine are also a fantastic coupling to the Shropshire cheese.
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