British may not name cheese after own town

Dec. 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM
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STILTON, England, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- British villagers cannot name the cheese they make after their town because of a rule that prevents Stilton cheese from being made outside three other counties.

The Stilton Cheese Makers Association got a Protected Designation of Origin order in 1996 for the blue-veined cheese -- which they say bears no relationship to the original version produced in Stilton -- Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday. Stilton cheese may only be made in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire under terms of the order.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs has allowed a pub in Stilton to make the cheese, but not use the name.

Liam McGivern, landlord of the Bell Inn, a pub that plans to sell the cheese in Stilton, says the pub may not call the product Stilton cheese, but must print the words "blue-veined cheese made in Stilton" on the packaging.

"Anyone can make the cheese but they won't let us call it Stilton," he said. "We are going to challenge the [ruling] -- that's the whole reason for making the cheese."

Local folklore holds that the 18th century owner of McGivern's pub was the first Englishman to market the cheese, the newspaper said.

"It was ridiculous that up until now we couldn't make Stilton in Stilton. People would come in and ask for it and I'd have to explain we legally couldn't make it. It was embarrassing."

McGivern plans to call the cheese Bell Blue.

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