Cheese in the Roman Empire....a second try....
Sorry; my first effort at responding seems to have been...less than successful.
It's always good to be careful when launching into "creative" history...but
(regarding the opinions that cheesemaking may not have been an industry in
2nd century Judea) there is at least one bit of internal evidence speaking to
the other side: According to Josephus, the area immediately below the
Temple Mount (and running between the Temple and the Palaestra/Agrippa's
Palace) was known as "the valley of the Cheesemakers."
Off-topic, but nonetheless: I've always suspected that the sly dogs who wrote
LIFE OF BRIAN knew this (as they seem to have known so much about this
particular time and place...); if you remember the depiction of the Sermon on
the Mount, one of the hearers at the back of the crowd hears Christ's "blessed
are the peacemakers" as "blessed are the cheesemakers" and a budding
theologian immediately gets into the act with "Oh, I don't think he means
ONLY cheesemakers, but rather ALL dairy workers...."