WHAT IS GLOUCESTER?
This classic English cow’s milk cheese is either made from skimmed cow’s milk (Single) or full fat (Double Gloucester). The latter is aged longer, is twice as big and the more popular of the two. While the former is also delicious, it is younger, crumblier and not quite as nutty. Some are pasteurized, and some are not so check the label. The majority of this cheese today is from large, industrial producers. Gloucester is the base for Cotswold (onions and chives are added). It is also used for Huntsman where the Double Gloucester has alternating layers of blue Stilton.
WHERE IS DOUBLE GLOUCESTER MADE?
This cheese was invented at the end of the 15th century in the city of Gloucester. Located to the West of London, Gloucester was originally founded as a Roman colony. Over the last 2,000 years it has evolved from a source of coal and timber during the Industrial Revolution to a port city of note today.
JUST HOW DANGEROUS IS GLOUCESTER CHEESE?
Imagine a nine pound wheel of cheese traveling downhill at 70 miles per hour (112 k.p.h.). And a hill steep enough to snap your thigh in two like a chopstick. Welcome to the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake. Who is the wake for, you may ask? Well, that all depends on your condition when you arrive in front of the ambulance at the bottom of the hill. While the ceremony is rumored to have started back in pagan times, today a dozen men can end up in the hospital each year. For a great article on the passionate cheese event, check this out!
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH DOUBLE GLOUCESTER?
English cheeses tend to be more of a “workman’s lunch” kind of affair as opposed to a fancy pants yuppie event. So pub favorites like a good brown ale or Brooklyn laeger can work. For oenophiles, check out a fruity red with a bit of kick like a Chianti or bold Bordeaux red. In terms of cheese flights, Red Leicester and a Tasty Lancashire cheese are a great introduction to England’s lesser known cheddar cousins. Or flee across the channel to the mainland for company. Buy a nice Gorgonzola picante, cut it in half like a sandwich, spread some marscapone on top of the bottom half, and cut your sandwich into portions. Add a nice, very aged slice of Comte to the mix (so you can see the salt crystals in the cheese) and voila!