Cutting the (Blue) Cheese

Last week we talked about Shropshire.

I don’t have a video of anyone cutting Shropshire right now, but I do have one of me cutting a Colston Bassett Stilton from Neal’s Yard Dairy. The Shropshire and Stilton we carry, both from Neal’s Yard, are the same size and appear nearly identical on the outside.

So just imagine the cheese’s paste is orange.

Or not.

Either way, what you see here is the way in which we break down a 15-pound wheel of what is known to be the best Stilton around.

Essentially, we score the outside of the rind in the same way we would score the outside of a Gouda, Parmesan, clothbound cheddar, or other hard cheese. The Stilton’s natural rind isn’t too hard, but it’s just hard enough that scoring the cut line helps.

Then, we wire-cut the wheel into thirds. My boss likes us to cut blues into discs, because you can better see the cheese’s beautiful veining if you leave a half or a third for a display piece; I agree with her.

Then, once we’ve got our more manageable discs/thirds, we cut those into wedges the same way we cut just about every other cheese on the wire. In half, then in half again, and then into halves or thirds. That’s how it gets to you for sale–once we wrap it, anyway.

See for yourself:

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