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Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe penned one of the earliest references to Stilton cheese in 1724, when he wrote that he has "pass'd Stilton, a town famous for cheese, which is call'd our English Parmesan, and is brought to table with the mites, or maggots round it, so thick, that they bring a spoon with them for you to eat the mites with, as you do the cheese." The cheese's distinctive blue veins are created by piercing the cheese with needles, allowing air to enter and mould to grow. Picture: Martin Pope <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
IN the Midwest, where I grew up, the milestones of life — 40th birthday parties, 10th anniversaries, an honorable discharge from the military — are observed with a pig roast. The words alone invoke casual pleasure: the taste of draft beer, the smell of wafting smoke, the feel of a greasy T-shirt and the sound of flip-flops. But this casualness should not be mistaken for nonchalance.