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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Watch Cheese Mature

Westcombe A gourmet version of watching the paint dry? Evidently not, judging from the thousands of people who have gone to the Westcombe Cheddar site to watch a wheel of cheese, yes, mature.

The cheese with its name in light is Westcombe cheddar, a farmhouse and appellation-designated cheese made in Somerset, England. It's been made in the same location for over a hundred years, though the quality had gone down for a time, the cheese has now been restored to its former glory. And now they've gone and put a webcam on it so we can all watch the cheese as it matures.

The concept of cheese as a living thing that matures and decays might be foreign to those used to buying dead, shrink-wrapped, plastic cheese from the supermarket. If you've never tried English Farmhouse Cheddars, perhaps this webcam might inspire you to do it. You'd never go back to that bright orange monstrosity ever again. Neal's Yard in London stocks the cheese. I've also seen it at Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco. I'm sure someone in New York does too but I'm not sure where.

This Cheddar TV is all fine and good, but come to think of it, in the spirit of my Fabulous Girls' Guide to Eating Local post, how about the web cam on Tom Calver, the dishy cheesemaker and not the molding cheese, eh?


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