That's "ordalie" in French. In the Middle Ages, it was a judgement from God. It's strange to remember that when the Merovingians were on the throne, cheese had an interesting part to play in a court case: a man was suspected of theft, he was brought to a church where he was given some bread and cheese to eat while the priest said his blessings. If he was unable to swallow them in time, this inability meant an admission of guilt.
I have discovered that this "proof of guilt" is apparently the origin of the expressions such (in French - and in English) as: "it's hard to swallow" or "the words stuck in his throat".