Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Colin's Little Known Facts: The Pork Pie and Stilton Connection

The historic market town of Melton Mowbray is famous for the production of hand raised pork pies. It’s also famous for Stilton cheese. And there is a connection between the two.

Both are produced either in the town or in villages within a radius of not many miles.

Stilton cheese is named after the village of Stilton on the Great North Road even though it was never produced there. One of the early Stilton makers had a brother-in-law who ran the Bell Inn in the village, and they came to an arrangement whereby he would sell her cheese in return for a share of the profits.

When you make cheese, it is necessary to separate the milk into curds and whey. What you actually need is the curds – whey is rubbish, so is normally thrown away. Nobody likes it – except pigs.

Pigs, however, think that whey is wonderful. So the sensible thing, when you are making cheese, is to keep pigs, and use up the whey by feeding it to them.

You then get happy pigs, which can eventually be turned into superb Melton Mowbray hand raised pork pies.