imageAccording to the BBC, an association of cheesemakers from Somerset have come up with a new and innovative marketing campaign for the die-hard cheese lovers amongst us.

The new cheddarvision webcam is set up so that customers can watch their cheese maturing over the course of a year. The feed was reportedly started on the first day of 2007, but the site had been running for several days before that, and the counter has now reached 10 days.

So, is it legitimate? Difficult to say. The West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers does seem to be a real organisation, and yes, they produce cheese. As to the webcam, that's more difficult to say. Cheese isn't the most mobile of subject matter, and it's nigh impossible to tell whether it is a current web feed or just looped footage. Or, indeed, a photograph.
(Thanks, Dave.)

UPDATE 2/4/07: It is clear now that this is a real web feed. Here is a time lapse video of months 0-3.
(Thanks, Beasjt.)

Advertising Food

Posted on Mon Jan 01, 2007


Whether or not this is a hoax, they misspelt 'milliseconds' on their counter. Maybe this is a clue as to whether it's genuine - or perhaps not. Who can tell?
Posted by Madmouse  in  Edinburgh  on  Mon Jan 01, 2007  at  05:14 PM
Better not tell Wallace about this. Gromit's got enough on his plate as it is.

Oh did I say "plate". There's nothing as nice as a good plate of cheese.
Posted by Peter  in  Melbourne, Australia  on  Mon Jan 01, 2007  at  06:10 PM
What's next? A channel where viewers can watch paint dry?
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Mon Jan 01, 2007  at  06:14 PM
Captain Al said:

"What's next? A channel where viewers can watch paint dry?"

"The paint drying channel" is how my sister-in-law Judy refers to the show How It's Made, which demonstrated the manufacturing process of such fascinating things like Venetian blinds.

As to the cheesecam, I think they should have done it in 3-D and handed out those red and blue glasses to people to watch it in all its fermenting glory.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  01:20 AM

I'm afraid this is not a hoax - I actually set up the axis camera for this.

The cheese in question was - I believe - the last one to be made at the Westcombe dairy before the new year - it was made on the 23rd December (hence this is when the counter was started). The site officially launched on 01/01/2007.

You should be able to notice the lights go on most days in the morning (but not necessarily for the whole day)

There is a paint-peeling camera somewhere on the internet, but I guarantee thaqt will be more interesting when the mold starts to grow, and when we release the time-lapse videos of the mold growing!

please keep watching...

Posted by Gez  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  02:11 AM
Sorry Gez, but I don't believe you and I am 99.9% sure it IS a hoax, as the image is a photograph imho, not a webcam image. It is much too stable and noise-less to be a webcam image imho.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  05:46 AM
Did you notice how Tom moved the cheese this morning, so the label is at the side and not obscuring the view?

The object is to illustrate the mautring process, so it needs to be relativley live - however it is chesse maturing so it doesn't need to be 25 fps!

We decided not to run a live video feed to conserve bandwidth and increase reliability - so the page checks for a new photo every 30 seconds. New images are saved each hour, or evey 3-5 seconds if the motion detection notices that something is happening. honest..
Posted by gez  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  09:16 AM
Okay, that sounds reasonable indeed. So time-lapse photography rather than a video stream.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  09:32 AM
Reminds me of this site: Which has been on the web for years and is definitely a hoax.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  03:35 PM
Unless it does get moldy-- and cheddar's not supposed to have mold on it, is it?-- doesn't a year-old cheese look exactly the same as a brand-new cheese?

... which would make this more like the "paint that starts out already dry and then doesn't do anything" channel.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  03:43 PM
Westcome cheddar is matured for a year - you can see a fully matured round here:

If you look in the background of the webcam shot when the lights are on (usually mid-morning GMT), you can see some of the older cheese..
Posted by Gez  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  05:36 PM
I have no trouble believing this. Strange concept, no idea who would actually want to watch it, but I don't find it exceptionally hard to believe. Lots of places have these sorts of things for all sorts of purposes... those "GhostCams" placed in random places spring to mind.
Posted by Soldant  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  02:27 AM
Yes, it would probably be just about as easy to set up a real webcam like that as it would be to fake one convincingly.

I suppose that he could always take requests of certain actions in order to prove that it's real, if he feels like it. Maybe put a purple marble in the foreground, or whatever.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  04:44 AM
Uh, the Telegraph has a story about banning cheese ads on the telly because cheese is now "junk food".

Can you say "hypocritical"?
Posted by KPottorff  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  10:41 AM
If it were genuine then why not put a calendar/clock (like the ones they have in banks) IN the picture?

(Or maybe there wouldn't be so much speculation (free publicity) if they did.
Posted by Jacob  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  10:54 AM
Gez please ask Tom to say yes to Martin 😊

It is his wedding after-all and it would offer a kind of proof or verification.

Thank you.
Posted by zooloo  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  03:10 PM
I think a clock might set off the motion detection too much, but a calendar would be a good idea! . . .

. . . taking requests though is inspired!! 😊 .. come on Gez - can we make requests?!!
Posted by Jimbo  on  Thu Jan 04, 2007  at  01:26 AM
Why not at 7pm each day a man walks by and bites a bit out of it?
Posted by tom  on  Thu Jan 04, 2007  at  04:12 AM
At least seeing the cheese now we can appreciate why the Moon is said to be made of green cheese - green being unripe not the colour.

It is rather Moon colour at the moment.

Ain't edukashun wonerfull
Posted by zoo  on  Thu Jan 04, 2007  at  06:51 AM
Well unless it's a very elaborate and slightly cruel hoax it's true!

The cheese will be delivered on the day of Martin's (see post above) wedding - he phoned them to ask for it.

Thank you Gez and Tom.
Posted by zooloo  on  Thu Jan 04, 2007  at  10:02 AM
It's night time in Cheese Land right now. Also did anybody else notice you can click the TV controls to get different pictures of stuff? The top one just displays "I can't see anything. Mind if I turn the brightness up?" and resets the dial. The bottom one shows different pictures.
Posted by Soldant  on  Thu Jan 04, 2007  at  06:53 PM
Cool - thank you Soldant 😊

It is now Martin's cheese and will be used rather than a wedding cake. Aaaaaahhhhhhh!
Posted by zooloo  on  Fri Jan 05, 2007  at  06:09 AM
I have a question about cheese (not this cheese, just cheese in general.)

The other day I forgot to put a cheeseball back in the refridgerator. It sat out from about noon to 8:30 pm. My mom said cheese doesn't go bad if it's out for a couple of hours and she still wants me to eat it (she paid a lot of money for it, she said) but I'm not sure it's safe...
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Fri Jan 05, 2007  at  08:26 AM
It's safe - cheese has been around a lot longer than fridges. Indeed it's a way of preserving milk.

Any mould on cheese can be cut off and the cheese is fine - unlike bread, any mould and chuck the lot.

Do what mother says, unless you have good reason to believe your mother is trying to kill you...
Posted by Peter  on  Fri Jan 05, 2007  at  12:38 PM
When the internet first began catching on, there was a website where it was nothing but a camera pointed at a busstop. That's all. Nothing but whatever showed up at the stop for 24/7. It was, I think, the first website sensation. Ain't it grand to see how far we've progressed? I understand that Atari is thinking of putting Pong back in bars.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Jan 06, 2007  at  11:51 AM

The beginning..
Posted by Gez  on  Mon Jan 08, 2007  at  02:41 AM
I think that's the face of Jesus in the upper left hand corner of the cheese. See for yourself.
Posted by Elizabeth  on  Thu Jan 18, 2007  at  11:06 PM

It's him!

If his face appears on bread is he truly risen?
Posted by zoo  on  Mon Jan 22, 2007  at  07:31 AM
Wow, watching cheese age live on the internet.

Now that's culture.

(I can't believe nobody else said it)
Posted by Barghest  on  Thu Jan 25, 2007  at  07:58 PM
I guess someone curd've come up with that one - perhaps they don't rind jokes like that very runny? 😉
Posted by Cheese Jokes  on  Fri Jan 26, 2007  at  01:38 AM
guys hate to break it to u this is not a hoax.. it was on channel 10 late night news thursday night. around 10pm.

It is also said on the site theres a video where u can watch the cheese bieng made.

funny that.
Posted by saraaaaaaaaaaaaah  on  Thu Feb 08, 2007  at  08:24 PM
when will you people learn? there are some folk weird enough to do this for real!

(sorry Gez)
Posted by ceri  on  Mon Mar 19, 2007  at  09:22 AM
Please, please, PLEASE...dress the cheese up for the holidays! I would laugh my you know what off....Sunglasses and a margharita glass for the summer...pumpkins and a smart looking hat for the fall...Santa hat and beard for could sell a calendar~ A Cheese For All Seasons! Maybe re-create famous Actors/scenes from movies, or historical people and events...King Arthur Cheese!! Winston Churhill!Dame Edna Cheese!!
HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Pretty please, with cheese on top??
Posted by sooky  on  Sat Apr 28, 2007  at  02:23 PM
:-) ... good call sooky, but I think it happens already!?

. . . red nose day ( UK thing ), valentines... this cheese is getting a lot of love 😊 . . . it's even, I think, been adopted by a school over in the states!
Posted by Jimbo  on  Sat Apr 28, 2007  at  02:56 PM
I am curious about one little detail. . .How does it smell? No, let me rephrase that--What does the aging room smell like? I know dairies can smell pretty rank.
Posted by Misha Griffith  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  07:17 AM
Hello to everyone reading, my name is tom and myself and the team make the cheese on our farm in westcombe. I am so pleased with the response that we are having about the cheese cam. I thought that i should let Misha Griffith in Fairfax know that the cheese store that the cheese is in smells like an old cellar, it has a fresh clean mustyness about it!! hope this helps tom
Posted by Tom Calver  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  05:01 AM
you are all sad to look at the stupid cheese.
ITS CHEESE. Get a life
Posted by scoobz  on  Mon Sep 17, 2007  at  03:34 AM
i like cheese. i think its cool! 😊
Posted by izzie  on  Wed Oct 17, 2007  at  09:15 AM
ilan ver - I can promise you that it was genuinely screened for a year. The cheese was sold to raise money for charity though and now lives in New Zealand.
Posted by Jimbo  on  Wed Mar 03, 2010  at  08:07 AM
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