Cheese, like wine, are one of the most ubiquitous and ancient food products humankind has ever known (in fact, both are mentioned in the Bible). There are common, mass-produced cheeses that are affordable for everyone, while there are artisan cheeses that are really pricey.
There are a few factors why some cheeses are so expensive and rare: the species of grass fed by the cattle that produce the milk to make cheese, the process in making the cheese, the type of cattle or livestock from which the milk is derived, and many others. Generally, cheeses made manually and traditionally are definitely more expensive than cheeses produced from factories.
Of course for the wealthy, they want nothing but the best quality cheeses to pair with the finest wines (or anything else)! Check out the cheeses with the highest price tag:
The Frome Cheese Platter is considered the most luxurious and most expensive cheese platter in the world. This cheese platter was unveiled at the Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show in Somerset, England. This collection of the world’s most expensive and rarest cheeses comes with truffles and gold leaf to make the cheese nibbling a thoroughly luxurious experience. The cheeses are served on a silver tray on the fancy cheese board, which are also part of the whole assembly.
While caciocavallo literally means “horse cheese” in Italian, horses have nothing to do with it. This pear-shaped cheese is made from a sheep’s or cow’s milk and is produced all over southern Italy. The cheese is usually hanged or suspended to mature.
The Caciocavallo Podolico is expensive in particular because it is made from the milk of a rare breed of cattle, the Podolica. These cows, usually grey in color, yield a very low amount of milk.
Pule may be a rare cheese but it also enjoys a high demand. This smoked cheese from Serbia is made from the milk of the Balkan donkeys.
Pule owes the high price tag to its rarity. The cheese is made from the milk of the only 100 female Balkan donkeys remaining. You might say that they’re quite an endangered species. Each female donkey, called a jenny or jennet, must be milked by hand three times a day. It takes 25 liters of donkey milk to make just one kilogram of cheese.
If you want to have a taste of the rare moose cheese, fly to Bjurholm, Sweden to find The Elk House, a farm owned by Christer and Ulla Johansson.
The farm has three calves, which produce only about 300 kilograms of milk per year. The resulting cheese is sold at $455 a pound, or $1,000 per kilogram.
The Stilton cheese is a typical British cheese, but the Clawson Stilton Gold is not so common — and not so cheap. It’s because it is infused with real gold liqueur and added with real gold leaf!
This gilded cheese was made by Long Clawson originally as a deluxe Christmas appetizer, but it has grown in popularity that it is now made available at any season of the year.
What makes the Wykes Farms Vintage Cheddar different (and pricey) from the everyday cheddar? Well, this cheese is infused with white truffle and gold leaf and is priced at a whopping $190 a pound! This luxurious cheese is produced by the award-winning cheesemaker Wyke Farms, known for its long and illustrious history of making world-class cheddar.
This Italian cheese was initially bought by a Hong Kong importer, who planned to introduce it to the Chinese market. By the time that particular cheese was purchased, it was much older than the typical Bitto (hence the name). A Bitto commonly sold in the markets is aged about 10 years.
Gorau Glas is a blue-veined handcrafted cheese. When it was introduced it took the food scene by storm. It was invented in Wales by Margaret Davies, who got involved in making cheeses after she attended courses.
When Gorau Glas first came out, it was relatively affordable. But as its popularity and demand grew, its prices began to soar.
The Beaufort D’ete (“summer Beaufort”) is produced from the French Alps. It is highly favored by fondue lovers because of how well it melts, as well for its creaminess and its slightly pungent and nutty flavor.
The Beaufort D’ete is aged in a cool mountain cellar usually for 6 to 12 months, but it can even be longer. Its process, as well as its growing popularity, make the Beaufort D’ete slightly pricier than its relative Gruyère cheese.
Winnimere is an artisanal cheese of the Brie family produced by Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, USA. It is made only during the winter where the Ayrshire cows are able to provide rich, grass-fed milk.
The cheese is then washed with locally brewed beer to give its rind a rosy color and aged at about 60 days. Its aroma is pungent and smoky while its flavor has a combination of bacon and sweet cream.