So much more than a cheeseboard favourite

Silton works well in all sorts of cooking, including this pork burger
Silton works well in all sorts of cooking, including this pork burger
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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The distinctive flavour and crumbly texture of Stilton makes it an ideal cooking ingredient.

And now is the time to start experimenting with the creamy, blue cheese as we’re well into National Stilton Week (April 15-21).

The week celebrates the versatility, heritage and taste of the quintessentially English cheese.

The aim is to show foodies and non-foodies alike how Stilton can be enjoyed not only on the cheeseboard, but also in a wide range of dishes.

Chris Bradey, cheese specialist at the Southsea branch of Waitrose, has some advice.

‘It’s great in cooking because you have that distinctive flavour. That’s because the milk comes from only a few herds in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

‘But of course a lot of people like to eat it on its own. People tend link Stilton with Christmas and having it with port. That’s okay but sometimes the port can be overpowering. Stilton is actually really lovely with a nice rosé, something like Zinfandel.’

Or try some of the recipes at stiltoncheese.co.uk

Pork and Stilton Burgers

Serves 4

· Ingredients:

400g (14oz) lean pork mince

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

Pinch chilli powder (optional)

100g (4oz) Stilton cheese, finely crumbled

Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

4 burger buns

Mixed salad leaves

4 x 15g (1/2oz) slices Stilton cheese

Sweet chilli sauce (optional)

· Method

1.In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, red onion, rosemary, thyme, chilli powder (if using) and crumbled Stilton. Season with black pepper, then form into four burgers. Keep covered and chilled.

2. When ready to cook, preheat the grill, barbecue or chargrill pan. Cook the burgers for 8 to 10 minutes per side, depending on their thickness (they should be thoroughly cooked).

3. Split the burger buns and toast the cut sides. Top with salad leaves, then a burger. Finish each one off with a slice of Stilton and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce.