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Double Gloucester Cheese
A pasteurised Cow's milk cheese formed in large rounds with very hard rind, occasionally carrying traces of mould. Pale orange colour, very firm. The orange colour of the cheese comes these days from annatto (a South American seed) but was traditionally derived from carrot juice or Ladies Bedstraw (Galium verum).
Gloucester cheeses were formerly made only with milk from Gloucester cows, a breed now almost extinct. The use of mixed morning and evening milkings may account for the name. The first reference to the name we can find is an advertisement in 'The Ipswich Journal' for Saturday 6 May 1758, where it is given without explanation so was presumably already well-known.
The rind on DG formerly had a reputation for being impossibly hard - cheesemongers were said to have jumped on it to check its quality and Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens has "A man with the gout in his right hand - and everywhere else - can't expect to get through a Double Gloucester without hurting himself."
Original Receipt in 'The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary' by Mary Eaton (Eaton 1822);
GLOUCESTER CHEESE. This article is made of milk immediately from the cow; and if it be too hot in the summer, a little skim milk or water is added to it, before the rennet is put in. As soon as the curd is come it is broken small, and cleared of the whey. The curd is set in the press for about a quarter of an hour, in order to extract the remainder of the liquid. It is then put into the cheese tub again, broken small, and scalded with water mixed with a little whey. When the curd is settled, the liquor is poured off; the curd is put into a vat, and worked up with a little salt when about half full. The vat is then filled up, and the whole is turned two or three times in it, the edges being pared, and the middle rounded up at each turning. At length, the curd being put into a cloth, it is placed in the press, then laid on the shelves, and turned every day till it becomes sufficiently firm to bear washing.
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