UK Dairy Day: Spotlight on Colston Bassett Dairy
Nottinghamshire is proud to be home to Colston Bassett Dairy – world-renowned makers of Stilton and Shropshire Blue cheese.
Set in the heart of the Vale of Belvoir, the dairy formed in 1913 when the village doctor, Dr William Windley, suggested that local farmers set up a cooperative to make cheese, in order to add value to their excess milk.
This cooperative has remained in place for more than a century; with milk now sourced from four farms all located within a 1.5-mile radius of the dairy.
Outstanding milk, combined with traditional production techniques and the talents of expert cheesemakers, result in exceptional quality cheese and Colston Bassett continues to receive top industry awards, year after year. The latest successes include three gold stars for Stilton at the Great Taste Awards 2016, and a Gold medal for Shropshire Blue at the International Cheese Awards.
Whilst championing traditional British cheesemaking, Colston Bassett Dairy like to keep us on our toes – always introducing new ways to enjoy their beautiful cheeses. Earlier this year the Nottinghamshire cheesemakers hosted a ‘Clash of Cultures’ challenge at London’s ‘School of Wok’ – where six world-class chefs were invited to prepare a dish featuring Colston Bassett. From Indian appetisers and Chinese specialities, to Stilton Chocolate Truffles and Lobster stuffed with Mac’n’cheese, the ‘Clash of Cultures’ cook-off resulted in some truly spectacular dishes… Hungry yet?
People far and wide across the globe have been getting a taste for Colston Bassett and so keeping up with demand – especially at Christmas – can be a real challenge. Never wanting to disappoint, in 2013 the Dairy implemented a ten-year investment plan with the aim to carefully manage growth, without altering the traditional production method. New maturation buildings mean that the Dairy’s capacity has now increased to help streamline production flow, whilst maintaining the outstanding flavour and quality of the cheese.
If you’ve not experienced the great taste of this local hero, you cannot truly call yourself a Midlander! Look out for Colston Bassett in your favourite pubs, farm shops and delis or visit the dairy farm shop itself.