Gloucester is the name of two cow's milk cheeses that have been made in Gloucestershire, England since the 16th century.
Single Gloucester is made with skim milk, or a mixture of skim milk from the evening milking and whole milk from the morning milking. It is more crumbly, lighter, and less fattening than it's relative.
Double Gloucester is made from whole milk. It is typically aged longer than Single Gloucester and has a stronger flavor.
Outside of Gloucestershire, Double Gloucester is more common than Single Gloucester. It is also used in the production of other cheeses. For example, Cotswold is Double Gloucester cheese with chives and onion added to the cheese. Huntsman Cheese is a cheese made of layers of Double Gloucester and Stilton.
For at least 200 years in Gloucestershire at a place called Cooper's Hill people have rolled wheels of Double Gloucester down a steep hill and chased after it. The first person across the finish line gets to keep the wheel of cheese. The hill is steep and every year many people are injured chasing after the cheese.
You can read more at www.cheese-rolling.co.uk/ and www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire/our_crazy_county/cheese_rolling/. You can also search on YouTube for "cheese rolling." Below is a video of the 2008 event.
Where to buy
Double Gloucester can be found in many cheese shops and high-end grocery stores. We have yet to find Single Gloucester here in California (but we haven't looked too hard, yet).
You can find Double Gloucester online at amazon.com. They also have Cotswold and Huntsman, which are made from Double Gloucester.