Stilton is a village in Cambridgeshire which has been associated with cheese for almost as long as the village has existed. When people hear the name Stilton, they don’t think of the village, but instead think of the blue cheese which is loved all over the world. Stilton cheese is one of the few products that is protected by European law, meaning that Stilton can only be produced in a few of the counties surrounding the village including Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Before this law was put into place Cambridgeshire, where Stilton is actually located, was one of the counties that was allowed to call the cheese produced there by its rightful name. However, a decision which seemed rather ridiculous, meant that Stilton cheese that actually came from Stilton, cannot be called by that name. Instead, cheeses produced in the village had to change their name and instead adopted, Bell Blue.
This decision has recently been reversed however after a final battle by the village to be able to call the cheese by its true name. The producers in the area are currently now going through the process of renaming their cheese back to Stilton. The reversal of decision was taken after the village made an application to the Department of Food and Agriculture in order to have their right to name the cheese restored.
The entire village got involved in a campaign and it involved a lot of signs being put up around the village. The name of the cheese was supposedly taken from the village and used first during the 18th century, when travellers would be passing through the village buying the blue cheese.