“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Cheeses „
I'm fully aware that mouldy, decaying, fungus-ridden cheese isn't to everyone's taste, but personally, I can't get enough of it! Stilton cheese, with its distinctive strong flavour and smell, is my personal favourite. Made in three counties (Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire), Stilton comes in two varieties, white and blue. Blue is the most common type, and is so called because of the blue veins which permeate it. I've just found out (thanks, Wikipedia!) that these blue veins are the result of Penicillium Roqueforti, a saprotrophic fungus. Bet your tastebuds are watering at the sound of that...
Anyway, while I'm no expert on cheeses, I have tried out several different types of blue Stilton over the years, and this Tesco version is one of them. Available from the deli or the ordinary cheese shelf, a 220g slab of this will set you back £1.71. From the cheese shelf, the Stilton wedge comes packed in plastic to keep it fresh, and usually has a use by date at least 3 weeks ahead.
The Stilton, as you'd expect, has a browny coloured, rough textured rind along the curved part of the wedge, which is edible, but doesn't taste of all that much. Apart from that, the rest is off-white coloured cheese, shot through with dark blue veins. So far, so good.
At its best, this is one of the most delectable Stiltons I've come across- richly flavoured, and treading the line between sweetness and sharpness perfectly. I like my Stilton to provide a taste explosion, without being unpleasantly sharp or bitter, and this sometimes delivers all my requirements. Sometimes being the operative word, and therein lies the rub. This cheese just isn't consistent. Many times I've bought it and been delighted with the rich, rounded flavour and the creamy, almost sticky consistency. But on other occasions, the cheese has been more crumbly, and with that crumbliness comes bitterness, to the point that the Stilton loses all that's best about its flavour. When the cheese is like this, it's a chore to get through, even in cooking.
I'm really not sure what causes this particular brand of cheese to swing from perfection to unpleasantness, but it's really annoying. At its best, this would always be my first choice Stilton- it's a real treat to eat on its own, and keeps its delcious flavour in the broccoli and Stilton soup I often make. But those times when the flavour of it is so sharp mean that it's risky to buy it. I've taken to inspecting the cheese before I buy it, as it seems that the paler it is, the more likely it is to be a crumbly, sharp tasting batch. But there really isn't any guarantee until you get it home and open it up.
It's hard to know how to rate this cheese- I'd give it 5 stars for being perfectly suited to my tastebuds when it's at its best, but I have to take 1.5 stars off for the odd bad batch that makes its way onto the shelves. I've rounded it up to 4 stars, and I do think that it's well worth trying if you love Stilton- just keep your fingers crossed!
This is a review of the TESCO FINEST Long Clawson Mature Blue Stilton.
Having both been quite unwell recently, and broke- Mr Norton's parents were kind enough to send us what can only be desribed as a "care package" which contained all sorts of foods we would never have been able to afford. One of these items in it was Tesco Finest Long Clawson Mature Blue Stilton. The name has the little (R) next to it so it is obviously it's registered trade mark and it has the Stilton Cheese Maker's Association mark of approval on it along with the Protected Designation of Origin mark. I take it this means it is quite a special cheese. It also notes it has been matured for 10 to 12 weeks.
One pack is 215g, it comes in a shrink wrap see through plasic wedge and the cheese still has the rind around it, When you open the product it smells creamy with a bit of the stilton tang smell but it smells a lot better than other blue cheeses I have bought which can smell like old socks. Mr Norton hates the smell of blue cheese so he normally has to leave the room if I have any blue cheeses but he was perfectly unaffected by the smell of this Stilton and was even able to sit next to me whilst I had a generous helping on some cream crackers!
The cheese is quite firm (not too hard but firm enough to be manageable to put slices on crackers) and you can easily cut through it- it is not squishy making it hard to cut but it does stick to the knife when you have sliced it. The taste is lovely and creamy. It is not bitter or too pungent, it is just a lovely creamy, stilton. It is a pale yellow colour with the yellow colour being more intense towards the rind.
It also has the trademark blue ripples through the cheese that I understand are created by inserting copper wires into the cheese whilst it matures. It has the same flavour strength as a good mature cheddar but you do not feel as if it is too strong or as if you are about to break out in mouth ulcers from the strength!
Nutritionally- this is cheese and cheese is not good from a fat/ calories point of view...Per 30g portion 125 calories, 10.5g fat (6.9g saturated fat). This translates to per 100g 410 calories, 35g fat (23g saturates). Not unexpected figures as this is a lovely rich cheese!
I would recommend this cheese if you already like blue cheeses. Having checked the price I was very surprised to see this is only £1.80 for a 215g pack. This is cheaper than a 200g block of mild cheddar in our local Co-op so well done to Tesco for the low price compared to other cheeses in other supermarkets.