Double Gloucester (Smart's)
Made by Diana Smart at Old Ley Farm in Gloucestershire, England, Smart's Double Gloucester is made from raw milk of the heritage breed of Gloucester cow.
For centuries, Gloucester cattle have been associated with the making of Double Gloucester and its sister cheese, Single Gloucester. Both cheeses were traditionally made by the same producer, although the Double Gloucester is larger format and has a fuller flavor than Single Gloucester, which may explain the name. The main difference between the two cheeses is that Single Gloucester is made with skimmed milk from the evening milking, mixed with full cream milk from the morning milking, whereas Double Gloucester uses full cream milk from both the evening and morning milkings.
Diana makes her Double Gloucester twice each week. As the milk is heated to 86°F, starter culture and anatto (a natural red dye derived from the seed of the South American anatto shrub) are added. After coagulation and cutting, the curd is heated again to 100°F for 40 minutes, then drained of whey (which is fed to some very happy pigs), then "stacked" to extrude more whey, and then milled and salted. Finally, the curds are put into molds and pressed for two days before being transferred to the maturing room to be aged for about six months.
Smart's Double Gloucester has a bright orange, slightly waxy paste with a dense, crumbly texture. The rind is natural and quite tough.
Flavors are pronounced, yet balanced, with notes of earth, smoke and bacon.