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Rammil or Rammel Cheese


A lost cheese. The name is thought to be derived from a reference to its ingredient 'raw' (ie, whole) milk.

The working classes "require, as we once heard from one of them", said the Sun newspaper on Friday 25 January 1867, "strong meat and 'rammel cheese'". The food critic Andre Simon (1877-1970) called it "the best cheese made in Dorsetshire" and Conan Doyle mentions it in 'The White Company', but the receipt appears to be now lost.

The explanation from 'A Yorkshireman in Somerset' in the Western Daily Press - Wednesday 17 November 1915 (with thanks to Randal Oulton) is hardly more enlightening..
"Cheese brigs (breeches) were used to suspend the skimming bowl drain.
I fancy Isle of Wight parson cheese is the very opposite to what Rammell (raw-milk) cheese was originally—a full-milk cheese with all the cream in. The parson, or tithe, cheese, and Rammell cheese now are both of the skim-dick make. or. like the tithe pig, a poor little half-starved nuzzletripe Cheesebolles are poppies. Why? And cheese! cake grass is clover."

With thanks to dorsetmuseums.co.uk

This poster offers a £20 reward relating to six to eight uncoloured rammel cheeses ‘feloniously stolen’ from the Dairy House, Witchampton, on the night of 11-12 October 1845. The reward was for information that would ‘lead to the apprehension and conviction of the Offender or Offenders’. It was offered by Mr William Burt, owner of the cheeses, and Mr H Rowden, Solicitor and Treasurer of the Wimborne St Giles Association. The average wage of a Dorset farm labourer in the 1840s was six shillings a week, so a £20 reward would have been the equivalent of more than one year’s pay

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