Cheese Thieves Strike Again | culture: the word on cheese
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Cheese Thieves Strike Again

goat's and cow's milk gouda on shelves at Dutch cheese shop

Either #CheeseCrime is running rampant or my eyes and ears have just been keen to hearing about it recently, because it seems to be a weekly occurrence. Just last week, I reported on a case of cheese smuggling with the mozzarella mafia, and in these last few months alone we have covered everything from cheese fraud and cheese theft to cheese kidnapping.

It’s back to good old fashion cheese thievery this week—the crime took place in the province of Brabant in the south of Holland. The culprits hit up three (confirmed) Dutch dairy farms, though it is thought that more than three farms may have been targeted. Hundreds of cheeses were stolen over the course of the last few months, and “they took cheese at different stages of maturity,” Mieke van den Heuvel, owner of the De Lange Hoeve dairy farm, tells Dutch broadcaster Omroep Brabant via Authorities have tied these separate farm robbing crimes together by the methodology used: in all cases, the cheese was taken using wheelbarrows.

The act was even caught on film, which provides evidence that the getaway car is a white van. There is a clear motive for such crime, as cheese is such a highly valued commodity, and not just because of the taste—a good wheel of cheese can bring in a tidy sum.

What’s upsetting in all of this is that cheese is a major source of income for many producers, especially small farmers. This #CheeseCrime is really a heavy hit for the farmers for whom cheesemaking is not only part of their lineage but also essential to their survival financially. So let’s all cross our fingers for some #CheeseJustice.

Marissa Donovan

Marissa Donovan is a former upstate New York girl living in a cheese-centric world. Although cheese is her day one, she doesn’t discriminate, as she adores all food. Similar to what Beyoncé advises, she likes food so much she put a degree on it—she’s a registered dietitian and master’s student in the nutrition communication program at Tufts. When she’s not filling her head with food info, she’s filling her belly with food and, as always, trying to bring up cheese in casual conversation.