Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....
, known for its characteristic strong smell and taste. It is produced in two varieties: the well-known blue and the lesser-known white. Both have been granted the status of a protected designation of origin
Protected designation of origin
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...
by the European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....
, together one of only seventeen British products to have such a designation. Only cheese produced in the three English counties of Derbyshire
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire. The northern part of Derbyshire overlaps with the Pennines, a famous chain of hills and mountains. The county contains within its boundary of approx...
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...
, and Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west...
– and made according to a strict code – may be called "Stilton".