Daily Archives: November 12, 2008

Stichelton — British blue cheese made in the original way — with raw milk

New York Times photo by

Stichelton Cheese -- in the raw. New York Times photo by Jonathan Player

Here’s a wonderful story about the re-making of a classic British raw-milk cheese, which came to our attention through Scardello Artisan Cheese in Texas. The point of this is to show how raw milk cheese (and raw milk) is a “class act”. It’s the result of an unusual level of care, craftsmanship and artistry. It’s not a mere “factory food“.

It’s not that we  want to be snobs or elitists here. But why shouldn’t there be truly wonderful and excellent cheeses, like there are great wines, for instance. And just as great wines are not made from standard-issue commodity-grade pasteurized grape juice, neither is great cheese made by taking what in Ontario is officially referred to as “industrial milk” and pasteurizing it first. Don’t we want to be world class? Don’t we want to develop a culture of culinary tourism? We need to wake up to what’s going on the rest of world and move on from our collective trauma over what happened in the 1930s (pasteurization and all that).

Getting back to Stichelton cheese, here’s what Rich (of Scardello) has to say about this rare delicacy:

“We are thrilled to have Stichelton at Scardello (pronounced just like it looks – “stich-l-tn”). In 1989 Stilton makers decided to stop using raw milk to make one of the worlds best blues. Randoph Hodgson teamed up with cheesemaker Joe Schneider to bring raw milk Stilton back. They chose the name Stichelton which was the original name of the town of Stilton. Continue reading

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U.S. Food Safety System “a train wreck” — attorney Bill Marler. + Recent E-coli outbreak in Canada linked to U.S. cases

“Bill Marler is a U.S. based attorney specializing in food poisoning cases. He writes a blog in which he shares his understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes of the food and health news. Here’s an excerpt from an insightful piece he posted on August 6, 2008:

Train wreck picture from Bill Marler's blog

Train wreck picture from Bill Marler's blog

“In just a year and a half, the American meat industry has experienced a whiplash of beef recalls. 40 million pounds of meat tainted with highly toxic E. coli O157:H7 has been publicly recalled, up by a staggering factor of two hundred from the 2006 amount of only 181,900 pounds.

“This is beyond the ‘wheels coming off’ of the meat supply system,” said food borne illness attorney William Marler. “It’s the entire train in a tangled heap. And the people caught in the train wreck are you and me and all of our neighbors. When reports say that there is a one in 400 chance that the package of ground beef you pick up at the supermarket will be tainted with a lethal bacterium, the food safety system is no longer functioning, and immediate, radical steps must be taken.” Continue reading

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