Completely impartial Irish V English cheese test.

Just before Christmas, my friend L challenged me to try Cashel Blue cheese against Stilton Blue and to decide on which is the better cheese. His mind was made up and he wanted a second opinion. Being Irish and proud of it, I have my own natural leanings. The Other Half was born in London and she carried a vote too. I reckon that levels the pitch. For complete transparency, I must admit that I did bump into two of the Grubb family (makers of Cashel Blue) at a cheese tasting recently. This had no influence on my decision. I mention it to avoid unfounded accusations of bias. To further flatten the pitch, I bought the cheeses in that bastion of Britishness, Marks & Spencer.

Both bought in M&S to avoid any accusations of bias.

Port and Stilton is a traditional seasonal classic. What better way to compare these cheese giants than over a glass or two of vintage port? A bottle of Taylors 1982 provided the backdrop.

The protagonists line up.

The Stilton was good. Very good. It was crumbly, had that beautiful salty taste and was well veined with mould. However, the Cashel Blue won out. It was creamier and worked better with the port. The Other Half voted likewise. This is L’s opinion too. A couple of others have also agreed with comments like “Cashel, of course” and “No contest, Cashel”.  Traditionalists may be horrified but who cares? The port was pretty excellent. We might have another round this evening.

Completely even-handed. Two slices of each cheese to a cracker.

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  • Because Stilton (Long Clawson Dairy) is an annual Christmas treat of mine, I was betting against the Cashel. But I’ve also never had the Cashel. Is it gentler on the taste buds?

    • Hi Adam, Yes, it is a good deal smoother. Yet, it has a nice depth of taste too. Nice cheese. My daughters are both lactose intolerant and enjoy Crozier by the same people. Similar but made on sheep’s milk. it is also a fine cheese.

  • My only complaint about this article is that you waited until I was away for the week to do this experiment!

    • The cheeses, port and lactard pills await your return.

      • Isn’t Stilton a sheep or goat’s cheese?

        • No. Cow. It is a bit bizarre in that cheese made in Stilton was not called Stilton. Stilton was made elsewhere. Check it out.

  • Wonderful! I’ll have to try it. Thanks for posting. It’s great to read about the differences!

  • I am not a big cheese fan but I do love Cashel Blue. Must get some Port to go with it; I just have it with pear.

    • Pear is good too. And apple. Some like sweet wines with Stilton. Perhaps I will give that a go one evening soon….

  • Port and blue cheese is one of my favorites. Because of all the French blues on offer in Paris, I (sadly) tend to neglect blues from elsewhere. Thanks for reminding me to remember to look across the Channel for cheese inspiration too 🙂

  • The problem with Stilton is that in the early 90s when they were applying to the EU for their PDO they bowed to presure from the health authorities and specified that pasteurised milk had to be used if you were to call it Stilton even though for centuries before the milk used had always been raw. Now there’s a guy making it in the tradional way in the correct region but he’s not allowed call it Stilton even though it’s a more authentic version (it’s called Stichelton). It’s far superior to the the pasteurised stuff imo.

    • So many great cheeses have gone this way. Personally, I am prepared to take my chances, if allowed by our EU masters.

      • It was actually the English authorities, it’s the EU you’ve to thank for overturn the ban on raw milk here (although once again the Irish government are trying to ban it).

  • Right I will try this one out on my Aunt – She’s English but has lived in Dublin for 50 + years with her card-carrying Irish husband – will get back with an opinion…

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