Broken bones, sprained ankles and concussions are just a few of the typical injuries sustained at the annual Cooper's Hill cheese-rolling event in Gloucestershire County, England. Ambulances are on hand, as well as a volunteer rescue crew responsible for carrying the injured fallen to safety at the bottom of the hill. These were cited as reasons for canceling the event for the past two years, but yesterday the good people of Gloucestershire took matters into their own hands and held an unofficial, renegade version of the competition.
The rules of the competition are simple: an 8 lb. round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled from the top of a large hill, and competitors bound after it, rolling, tumbling, and lurching downhill. The first person to cross the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. Words don't do the spectacle justice, so take a look at the video:[jump] Luckily, the civilized people of Minnesota don't need to engage in such shenanigans for a taste of the Double Gloucester. Our own Surdyk's cheese shop carries the cheese, sourced from Quicke's family farm in Gloucester. Mary Richter, Surdyk's cheese shop manager, says, "It could have been that very cheese in the competition."
The Double Gloucester is a member of the Cheddar family--a deep, orange color, and a bit dry and crumbly. It's cloth-bound and has "a pleasant, buttermilky, almost sour finish," according to Richter. And you don't need to suffer any broken bones to try it.