What To Do With All this Leftover Holiday STILTON?

As the Christmas and New Year celebrations wind down, we may all find ourselves with leftovers of our favorite treats -- in particular - STILTON! However, there is no reason to be concerned about enjoying this cheese as the winter months progress if we keep in mind three points: when the cheese was purchased; when you expect to finish remaining segments; and how long you would like to keep it for the future.

If you know the expiration date of the STILTON you purchased or received as a gift, you should make a plan for storage now. Fresh STILTON may be kept in 6oz. segments, triple-wrapped with clear film, in the cheese keeper or crisper of the refrigerator until the expiration date. If you like your STILTON a little more mature, again, divide it in the 6oz. segments and store for a bit longer. As it matures, watch for excessive moisture, browning or runny veining. This STILTON is past its freshness and should not be eaten.

If you would like to keep your STILTON longer than a few weeks, good news -- STILTON may be frozen! Take your 6oz. triple-wrapped segments, add two layers of aluminum foil, date, and place in the freezer. It can stay for another month if frozen. When defrosting your STILTON, it is VERY IMPORTANT to defrost in the refrigerator and not on the kitchen counter for two reasons. STILTON is a living cheese and once it is thawed will progress toward the inedible stage quite rapidly. Use immediately! Upon defrosting, you will also see a slight loss in the creamy texture that makes STILTON unique. This cheese may be best used in your favorite STILTON recipes without any loss in flavor. Again, use immediately after defrosting.

The STILTON Web site at www.stiltoncheese.com has an ever-growing collection of STILTON recipes. Or recipes are FREE by calling the STILTON US Information Bureau at 1-800-467-7023.

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