Smart's Single Gloucester cheese

From Cookipedia

Smart's Single Gloucester cheese. Photograph courtesy of The Cheese Shed

Single Gloucester cheese is a PDO cheese which can only be produced in Gloucestershire and whenever possible, the milk of the Gloucester breed of cow must be used. There are only 5 producers of the cheese, Diana Smart of Churcham being one of them.

The cheese is made from a mixture of morning and evening milk, the former being whole milk and the latter, skimmed milk. The milk is unpasteurised and the cheese is made with vegetarian rennet. It is allowed to mature for at least 3 weeks, so is milder than its cousin Double Gloucester.

Smart's Single Gloucester has been described The Real Cheese Companion as having: "a deliciously light texture and beautifully balanced taste, with a cool, clean tang and grassy sub-flavours."

It has an pale colour and traditionally the cheese was made in wheels about half the size of Double Gloucester but nowadays the wheels can be of various weights. Smart's make cheeses weighing 3.4kg, 1.5kg and 0.34kg.

The cheese was voted Best Traditional British Cheese in the 2011 British Cheese Awards.

An extract from the application for PDO

Reference: The European Commission

© European Union, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/editorial/legal_notice.htm#droits

Single Gloucester was first mentioned in The Rural Economy of Gloucestershire by William Marshall, 1792 and was produced until 1939. In 1978 it was revived by Charles Martell & Sons who continue to make it to this day.

Brief description of product:

Full fat hard cheese - uncoloured. Made from pasteurised or unpasteurised cows' milk produced in Gloucestershire, which must include milk obtained from Gloucester cows maintained within the defined area.

The cows:

The long tradition of dairying in Gloucestershire which was associated with the Gloucester breed of dairy cow is still maintained. Farms producing Single Gloucester Cheese run a herd of registered Gloucester cattle. The Gloucester cow is now a rare breed and, as is often the case with such traditional breeds, tends to milk better in summer months and can become dry in the winter. On occasion, therefore, it is necessary to supplement the Gloucester's milk with that obtained from other breeds on the same farms.

The principle characteristics of the cheese and how these relate to the geographic area:

Flat disc shape; rind clean (if vacuum-packed) or moulded if not. It was traditionally made in a flat circular disc shape because the moulds, which the cheese was pressed in, were turned on a lathe from a solid block of elm, a tree which was notably plentiful in the dairying vale areas of Gloucestershire.

Single Gloucester Cheese was traditionally made flat for ease of storage on shelves in farmhouse lofts. Many farmhouses in Gloucestershire today can still be seen to possess their original louvered vents into their old cheese lofts.

The second world war, and demand for liquid milk, largely killed off the Gloucestershire farm cheese industry which in 1850 "... was computed to produce annually from a thousand to twelve hundred tons of these unrivalled cheeses."

Typically the cheese is 58% fat in dry matter. A further feature of the cheese has been that it can be low fat, at the discretion of the cheese maker. This is always indicated on the label.

  • Smell - lactic, particularly in young cheese.
  • Taste – mild, lactic and buttery.
  • Texture - smooth and creamy.
  • Body - yields under hand pressure.

Method of production:

  • Pasteurised or unpasteurised milk put into vat.
  • Starter culture added and temperature raised to 30°-32°C.
  • 45 minutes after addition of starter, 1ml of rennet (or non-animal coagulants) per 3.5-5 litres of milk is added.
  • Curd sets in from 25 minutes - 1 hour.
  • Curd cut for 10-20 minutes.
  • Curds and whey scalded for 20-30 minutes, up to 32°-35°C.
  • Whey is run off and drained.
  • Curd milled and salted (1.4 - 5 gms salt per initial litre of milk, depending on moisture of curd).
  • Mould and press.
  • Cheese turned in moulds same evening or next day. Cheese out of press next day or up to 5 days later.

The defined area:

Gloucestershire, the defined geographical area, is bisected by the Severn estuary, and bounded to the west by the hills of the Forest of Dean and to the east by the Cotswold Hills. The geology of the area gives rise to the brown earth soil type and together with warm moist prevailing winds from the Gulf of Mexico give the ideal climate for dairying for grass production. The grazing season is from March until October; in the winter conserved grass made from the same pasture as is grazed in the summer is fed to the cows. To date no imported feeding stuffs are used for the production of this cheese. The consistent type of grass produced results in taint free milk with the low acidity levels necessary for Single Gloucester cheese production. The ambient conditions created by this climate allow the cheese making to be made in the dairy without any air conditioning, this results in the traditional type of cheese which is hard but not dry.

Calories in different varieties and various types of cheeses

The number of calories in various types of cheese is very similar when you compare your cheese to a similar types of cheese.

For example, almost cheeses that are similar to Cheddar cheese have around 400 calories per 100g

If the Smart's Single Gloucester cheese is not listed below, select a similar type of cheese from the list below to get a rough idea for the number of calories in Smart's Single Gloucester cheese.

The calorie lists are sortable by clicking the up and down arrows in the heading columns

Cheese type Calories per 100g
American cheese 371
Blue cheese 353
Camembert cheese 299
Cheddar cheese 402
Cottage cheese 98
Edam cheese 357
Farmer's cheese 98
Feta cheese 264
Fontina cheese 389
Goat cheese 364
Gouda cheese 356
Gruyere cheese 413
Mozzarella cheese 280
Parmesan cheese 431
Pimento cheese 375
Provolone cheese 352
Queso blanco cheese 310
Ricotta cheese 174
Roquefort cheese 369
Swiss cheese 380

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Errors and omissions

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