Stilton's bid to make Stilton fails

The blue-veined cheese is at the centre of a naming row. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive

The village of Stilton has had its bid to make its namesake cheese rejected.

Under EU law, Stilton can only be produced in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, where it is thought the cheese originated.

The Bell Inn in Stilton, Cambridgeshire, already makes a blue-veined cheese but has been forced to call it ‘Bells Blue’ instead of Stilton, due to the EU ruling.

Matthew O'Callaghan, from the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership, welcomed the decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Original Cheese Company's director Richard Landy had claimed historical documents proved the strong-smelling blue-veined cheese originated in the village. However, Defra rejected the application to amend the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) to include Stilton.

It said the claim was rejected because the application was submitted by the Original Cheese Company and not the pub.

Liam McGivern, landlord of the Bell Inn, accused Defra of moving the goal posts and said they would press on to get the ruling amended.

Mr McGivern said: "It's ridiculous that we can't make Stilton in Stilton. People come in and ask for it several times a week and I have to tell them we can't legally call it Stilton."