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Lymeswold Cheese


Lymeswold was a soft, slightly blue, pasteurised cow's milk cheese with an edible rind, produced from 1982 to 1992 at Dairy Crest's Cannington creamery in Somerset. Devised and introduced with huge publicity as "the first new English cheese in 200 years" it was expected by the Minister of Agriculture, Peter Walker, to improve the balance of payments and become "one of our most successful cheese exports." Lymeswold had been ingeniously formulated as a milder competitor to the newly-fashionable French soft cheeses, like Brie, and it was initially well-received - perhaps too well as, it seems from reports of the time, the makers were unable to keep up with demand and began releasing product well before it was even vaguely mature.

I can confirm from ancient experience that Lymeswold was actually a very good cheese indeed. How it was made was never publicly revealed, but appeared to be a French-style soft rinded new cheese - quick and cheap to make - given a slightly 'blue' flavour by having crumbs of Roquefort-style mixed-in. This was very clever, inexpensive and quick to make but with the taste and texture of top cheeses.

Lymeswold, with its fake olde-sounding name, turned into a joke and was abandoned. It was exported as 'Westminster Blue' as many non-English speakers found Lymeswold unpronounceable.

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