Cotswold is a traditional English cheese produced by adding chives and green onions to Double Gloucester. Double Gloucester is a mild, cheddar-like cheese that is made with either pasteurized or raw cow’s milk. Traditionally made with more cream than single Gloucester, double Gloucester is a bit softer and creamier than cheddar. The addition of the chives and onions is certainly the most significant flavor component. This is a perfect picnic cheese, pairing well with beer and fruity white wines.
Bitter is the traditional, cask-conditioned ale served at almost every pub in England. Every brewery in England makes one, often several. They can be Ordinary (usually about 3.5% alcohol), Best (about 4%), Special (about 5%) or Extra Special (about 5.5%) As you go up in the categories, you usually encounter more generous hopping as well. Once filtered and bottled, this beer is often referred to as Pale Ale. It can be light to medium brown, even coppery, and has fruity, piney aromas and flavors that vary from producer to producer. My favorites here are all English; Fuller’s ESB, Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale and Winter Welcome, Young’s Special Bitter, Tetley English Ale and of course Bass Ale. Where possible I recommend buying in the new containers that incorporate the carbonation “widget”, a compressed nitrogen cartridge designed to simulate cask-conditioned carbonation.
This twosome is perfect for picnicking. Serve with crisp, tart apples, Asian Pears, stone fruits (peaches, apricots, etc.), salted nuts, pickled vegetables and cured meats.