Yellow cab

Letter from America, part two: Brit cheese beef and Philly cheesesteak

New York, 1/22/2019 (Note the proper way to write the date!)


Dear Friends Across The Pond, 

Thank you?

When I wrote my recent column for Modern Media Review (Letter from America, part one: Cheese, TV and modern media in the UK), I never expected the reaction to be so profound. I never expected a reaction at all. Who could feel that strongly about 1980s British cheese documentaries?

To my surprise and shock, two large bags of mail came addressed for my attention, care of the editors of MMR. How did they get the MMR address? MMR doesn’t even have a physical address. It’s an online publication! Well, apparently, I hit a nerve.

When all was counted, the letters and cards contained 326 pieces of hate mail, four death threats, a list of British cheeses I failed to mention, an invitation to appear on the new British TV game show, Whose Cheese Is It Anyway?, and a marriage proposal from a Belgian fellow named Frans Laarmans, who wanted to turn me on to Edam.

After lengthy debate among the editors and me, a decision has been made to publish one of these letters, in full (and unedited), in this column. I requested they change the name of the author to protect the guilty. But they’ve refused.

To the editors of Modern Media Review,

I am appalled at the recent article about our beloved cheese. And by an American, no less! Bollocks! What do they know about anything? Certainly nothing about cheese! Have you ever bought a wedge of American cheese? You can’t, because it doesn’t exist! They don’t sell it here because it’s complete crap. And in the US you can’t even find it in the dairy aisle. They sell pre-formed ‘slices’ of this ‘food product’ in individually wrapped plastic sheaves, so the oil doesn’t melt all over the other inedible tripe in their markets.

Have you ever heard of a Philly cheesesteak? Slices of beef on a roll topped with American spray-cheese from a can. This is the namesake staple food of a once-proud city where the Americans declared their liberty from us! We can never take them seriously again.

Please remove this – and this author – from your website or cancel my subscription.

Yours truly,

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

So with deepest regret I’d like to apologize. With a ‘z’. Yes, Letter From America pokes fun at British media and in one case British cheese. My intent is, and has always been, to point out how different we are and thus encourage the affinities to curdle to the top. Through this ordeal, I’ve learned a valuable lesson – the British take their cheese very seriously. I’ll quickly add, though, that a culture that can’t laugh at itself is a culture on the verge of spoiling.


Photograph: Yellow cab by Gratisography/Pexels


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