Stichelton is an English blue cheese. It is similar to Stilton cheese, except that it does not use pasteurised milk or factory produced rennet. Randolph Hodgson of Neal's Yard Dairy and American Joe Schneider produce Stichelton in small batches from a shop on the edge of Sherwood Forest. They use raw milk, rennet from calves' stomachs and hand-ladling and smoothing. The name comes from the original name of Stilton village in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book, as the name Stilton cannot legally be used for the cheese.
Although most Stilton cheeses have been made with pasteurised milk for many years, until 1989 the Colston Bassett dairy did make one Stilton with unpasteurised milk. But following a health scare they decided to end production of this particular cheese, and in 1996, the decision was permanently enshrined when Stilton was awarded Protected Designation of Origin status by the EU, with one of the conditions being the use of pasteurised milk. However the bacteria for making the cheese were not destroyed. In the early noughties a trend for unpasteurised cheeses encouraged an independent dairy to use the bacteria to start making a new cheese. Unable to be described as a Stilton, the cheese was named Stichelton, which its makers say was the original name of the village of Stilton. The first Stichelton cheese was produced in October 2006.
Stichelton is made from the milk of Friesian-Holstein cows at Collinthwaite Farm, on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire. Forbes Life described it as a "sumptuous cheese that sets a full-flavored, succulent, complex chain of sensations going in your mouth: fruity and salty, buttery, and earthy, sharp and creamy. Robin Hood never had it so good."