Sometimes it seems that even the cheese is stacked against us. Someone, somewhere out there must know the truth, but knows it is far too dangerous to speak of it, especially when too close to even the smallest wedge of Wensleydale. Of course, there is always the notably traitorous Double Gloucester to watch out for too, especially when it is working undercover, disguised with chives and onion.
Back in the militant 1970s, of course we all knew where Red Leicester’s sympathies lay, especially when those blackmail photographs were published showing a hunk of Red Leicester sharing a cheese board with a sultry Edam and a rather wanton Jarlsburg all cavorting next to a full spoonful of Branston Pickle.
It goes without saying that, as with most things in the UK, it all goes back to our long hostility towards the French. As befits two enemies of such long standing, it didn’t take much for suspicions to be aroused. Consequently, when, during the Napoleonic wars a woman in the strategically important navel dock area of Portsmouth was discovered with a suspicious quantity of surreptitious Brie on the premises it was not long before she was hanged as a traitor.
The First World War saw the Germans trying hard to infiltrate undercover Tilsit and Gouda into the UK, but – as later in WWII – the British Secret Cheese service was well aware of what was going on. There was one lucky escape, however, during WWII, when in 1944 some supposedly neutral Swiss Emmentaler, was later found to actually be German, luckily though it was discovered just before the cheeseboard was delivered to the D-Day planning rooms.
During the Cold War advances in refrigeration meant there was a danger of long-range intercontinental cheeses being launched against the West by the USSR. However, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan western defensive technology advanced at such a pace there was soon an Anti-Intercontinental Cheese Shield at the prototype stage, which consisted of a rocket containing several warheads, each containing enough defensive cheese biscuits to completely neutralise the Soviet Cheese offensive.
Eventually, during the arms reduction talks, a treaty later known as the Water Biscuit 2 Treaty was signed by both the USA and the USSR, which resulted in a massive reduction in both tactical and intercontinental cheeses by both sides.
The threat from the use of offensive cheeses is far from over, though,with many governments expressing deep concern that terrorists, especially, Islamic fundamentalists may be working on a very powerful offensive goat cheese capability that could cause massive devastation and casualties should it ever be unleashed on, say, some defenceless American or European city.