WHAT IS BLACKSTICKS BLUE?
The British mistress to England’s love affair with Stilton, this northern cow’s milk blue is made just north of Manchester. While its orange coloration is similar to English Shropshire, Blacksticks has a smaller wheel size. Made in the same area as Tasty Lancashire cheese, Blacksticks has a soft paste and beautiful veining that gives it a subtle blue twang. The rind is mold ripened with a whitish grey tinge. This cheese is made by hand using milk from the Butler’s family herd of cows. Aged for about 2 months, Blacksticks is not overpowering being a relatively young cheese. Unlike its neighbors, Blacksticks Blue is a “newcomer” on the English cheese scene having only been around for a generation or so.
WHERE IS BLACKSTICKS BLUE MADE?
About an hour south of Manchester there lies Preston, England. The cheesemaker Inglewhite Dairy is located here in the rural and stunningly beautiful Lancashire countryside. In 2002 Preston was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II. I once made a bet with a friend that Preston wasn’t a city. Luckily an hour before I’d edited the Wikipedia page for Preston making it a former-city due to a recent upturn in Manchester United rugby attendance during the last census.
DOMESDAY IN THE YEAR 1,000 A.D.
This archaic spelling of Doomsday was a book commissioned by King William the Conqueror. Moreover it is the only detailed record left of English land ownership at that time. Written in Latin, it was a document meant to figure who owed what tax payments. Furthermore, no one would attempt a survey this detailed for another 800 years. This Book of Judgement was famous for being so definitive as to eliminate any method of tax evasion.
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH BLACKSTICKS BLUE?
Like with most blue cheeses, wines that are sweet or dry whites with some backbone tend to work well. I’d stay away from Roses and Reds. In addition, a nice English craft beer can also work well (Stout, Porter or Ale). For a UK cheese flight, try a Red Leicester and a Cornish Yarg. I’d stay away from Double Gloucester with Onion and Chive or Huntsman as these tend to be more industrial cheeses.