Cheddar Wheel Is an 'International Superstar'

In England, the cheese does not stand alone.

More than 8,000 people logged on Wednesday to watch a 44-pound wheel of cheddar cheese mature on, the brainchild of British cheese maker Tom Calver.

And Wednesday was an especially exciting day: Visitors were able to watch the cheese, nicknamed "Wedginald," undergo its nine-month grading examination, the last of three tests the cheese had to pass during its maturation process.

"There aren't many events as exciting as the grading," said Dom Lane, the spokesman for the site.

The grading took a sample from the core of the cheese, Lane told, and tested it for texture, aroma and most importantly, flavor.

The cheese's owner told BBC News the sample had "hints of caramel and a note of grass."

Wedginald lives in cavelike conditions, said Lane, on a farm in southwest England's Somerset County.

Since the site was launched in January, approximately 1.5 million people have visited, despite the lack of anything really happening other than a countdown clock ticking away until the next grading.

The cheese's next milestone? The hunk of cheddar will mature completely after 12 months and will then be auctioned to the highest bidder. All proceeds will go to a children's welfare charity.

"Normally if you had to buy the cheddar, it would be worth around $800," said Lane. "But we're hoping to get more than that. After all, it is an international superstar."