So many of you want to know, what is the difference between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester?
Let’s face facts, to the untrained eye and palate, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester probably look the same and taste the same.
However, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, there are more dissimilarities than you would think.
So, in this article, I would like to introduce you to the many major differences between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester.
The main differences between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester come down to the milk used and their color. Red Leicester is made from unpasteurized milk. However, Double Gloucester can be made from either pasteurized or unpasteurized milk, but the milk must come from Old Gloucester cattle. Red Leicester is bright orange in color, whereas Double Gloucester is more golden-yellow.
1. Do Red Leicester and Double Gloucester Use Different Milk?
The most obvious difference between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester lies in their names.
Leicester and Gloucester are both located in the Midlands, England, UK.
In fact, they are approximately only 94 miles apart.
However, the milk used to make Red Leicester must be unpasteurized cow’s milk.
That being said, the milk used to make Double Gloucester can be either pasteurized or unpasteurized, although it must come from Old Gloucester cows.
It’s also interesting to note that Gloucester cattle almost became extinct in the 1970s, which certainly would’ve put a whole new spin on Double Gloucester cheese.
Furthermore, there is also a “Single Gloucester,” which specifically uses skimmed milk but still comes from the Old Gloucester cow.
Double Gloucester will involve a mixture of whole milk and cream.
Plus, the cream must be skimmed from the milk twice in order to be considered “double.”
How Traditional Red Leicester is Made in the UK
2. Are Red Leicester and Double Gloucester a Different Color?
There is a slight color difference between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester.
Plus, the traditional way in which coloring was added is also different.
Firstly, Red Leicester is orange in color, whereas Double Gloucester is considered to be more of a golden yellow.
In truth, you could even say that Double Gloucester is more yellowish-orange in color.
Both kinds of cheese have been colored since the 18th century with annatto.
Annatto is a completely natural ingredient that originates from the pulp of the Achiote tree seed.
And as I say, it has been used as a natural coloring for cheeses, and it provides an orange color.
That being said, Red Leicester was traditionally colored with carrot or beetroot juice.
Whereas Double Gloucester was originally colored with the Lady’s Bedstraw flower.
Obviously, the amount of annatto used nowadays will differ slightly, hence the slight difference in color between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester.
3. Are Red Leicester and Double Gloucester Aged Differently?
The longer a hard cheese is aged, the less moisture it will typically contain.
Additionally, a longer aging process can also lead to a more sharp-tasting cheese.
Red Leicester is generally aged for 6-12 months before it hits the shops, ready for sale.
Double Gloucester is usually aged for approximately 4 months, although the aging process may sometimes be extended to 36 weeks.
A longer-aged Double Gloucester will typically be more hard and flaky.
The difference in aging will also explain why Red Leicester is considered a hard cheese, but Double Gloucester is classed as a semi-hard cheese.
As a point of interest, Single Gloucester is not aged for as long as the double variety.
4. Do Red Leicester and Double Gloucester Have the Same Texture and Taste?
So, I’ve just mentioned that Red Leicester is hard, whereas Double Gloucester is semi-hard.
That being said, a good Red Leicester will be firm while also having a flaky texture.
Double Gloucester is often described as having a smooth buttery texture.
The rind of Red Leicester is bright orange-red and has fine powdery molds.
The rind of Double Gloucester is a natural, thick blue-grey color.
As for the taste, Red Leicester has been described as full-flavored, slightly sweet, with an almost burnt caramel-type of taste.
It is said that as Red Leicester matures, it takes on a more robust flavor.
Double Gloucester is said to be creamy, milky, mellow, and nutty.
It’s also interesting to note that the longer Double Gloucester is aged, the nuttier the flavor will become.
A final fact to consider is that Red Leicester is actually far more similar to cheddar than it is to Double Gloucester.
I guess it’s just the color that makes us think differently.
How to Make a Double Gloucester-Style Cheese
The main differences between Red Leicester and Double Gloucester are:
- Red Leicester uses unpasteurized milk.
- Double Gloucester can use pasteurized or unpasteurized, but the milk must come from an Old Gloucester cow.
- Red Leicester is orange.
- Double Gloucester is golden-yellow.
- Red Leicester is aged 6-12 months.
- Double Gloucester is aged for 4 months.
- Red Leicester is a hard cheese.
- Double Gloucester is a semi-hard cheese.
If you are interested in similar comparisons, read my article on the difference between Swiss cheese and Provolone.