A tip from Dave Barry's blog today led me to a FoxNews report on CheddarVision, where you can watch cheddar cheese age 24/7. This is a marketing initiative from Scotland's West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers.
To quote, The site, cheddarvision.tv, allows cheese fans to "examine the delicate intricacies of the mold on the beautiful cheese as it develops."
I like cheese so I checked it out.
When you visit the cheddarcam, you find yourself looking at a television set in a retro style. As I waited for the dim screen to light up with a cheese, I realized I was already looking at several round s in very low light. I confess I watched the unmoving cheeses for about 2 minutes and 34 seconds (they have a counter to the right) and didn't see any mold grow. According to the clock, these cheeses have aged 7 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes and the seconds and milliseconds are being counted as I blog about them.
All wisecracks aside about watching cheese age on line, I find this to be an interesting marketing initiative; interesting that they did it, interesting that they put it on MySpace (they say Scots are frugal!) and interesting that they have attracted media attention.
Here's is what I would add to their initative:
I would want to post a sign mentioning my customers.
"These cheeses will be enjoyed by the Royal British Navy once they've properly aged."
or "This cheese will be sold at Harrod's."
By marketing my customers, I'm marketing my cheeses.
Second, I'd like to place a stamp that says "This cheese was naturally aged on CheddarVision.tv."
By marketing my cheddarcam, I'm marketing my group and my products. I would provide cheese departments with a sign that says "As seen on CheddarVision.tv" which they can place next to the cheeses they bought from us.
Third, I'd like to make the rounds of talk shows with my cheese. Since my cheddar cam is novel, it will be of some interest to talk show hosts. I would be able to say "This cheese aged on CheddarVision.tv for several months." and this would lead to a discussion of our group, our cheeses and more information about how our cheesemaking differs from others. This period will only last 6 months to a year and then I'll have to think of a new angle.
Cheddarcam has a MySpace icon which takes you to photos of the picturesque stone farmhouse and cows and ...more facts about cheese uses in Scotland. Click here which takes you to their Myspace.com area.
It takes about 9 months for a cheddar cheese to properly age - I'll keep checking on it and let you know how it's coming along.