Too often, cheese becomes an ally of the stoned, the sad, and the strange — at least that’s usually the case onscreen. Take the eccentric claymation, cheese-addicted Wallace of of Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit or 30 Rock’s over-the-top emotional eater Liz Lemon downing everything from Cheesy Blasterz to “night cheese.”
That thematic targeting is rather peculiar, given that cheese is a beloved treat of the well-to-do class acts the world over. I mean, the rich really go for it with cheese. We’re not talking buying two blocks of cheddar instead of one (indefinitely “just in case”). No, no, the affluent folk of society dig on cheese like you wouldn’t believe. Their cheesy choices just seem so preposterous, so the truth never really shows up in movies or television. But there are really, really, really fancy cheeses out there. Here now are the most expensive ones.
Caciocavallo Podolico Cheese
($42 – 50 per pound)
The name is much prettier before it makes its way to English, since its nickname is just “horse cheese.” However, the cheese, with its provolone-like taste, doesn’t actually have horse’s milk as its source. Instead, it comes from a rare Italian breed of cow known as the Podolica, which only lactates for two months at the beginning of summer. The name comes as a blast from the past, as it hearkens back to when the teardrop-shaped cheese was carried by horses.
Bitto Storico Cheese
($125 – $150 per pound)
Photo: The Crowded Planet
Typically aged for 10 years, Bitto’s a combination of orbic goat and Swedish brown cow’s milk. Although a rare Italian cheese, with a delicate and natural taste, an entire 44-pound block aged for 16 years was bought by a Hong Kong importer back in the 1990s to sell off to resellers around China.
Wyke Farms Cheddar Cheese, Exclusive Creation
($200 per pound)
Photo: Daily Mail
Infused with gold leaf and white French truffle, this very special take on a popular cheese is near-mythical. Its really only known for its (rightful place) on an extraordinary cheese board at the Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show in Somerset some years ago, which was valued at a few grand. While expensive, the cheese’s taste is predictable, as it’s just really good cheddar with a truffle flavoring weaving through.
($300 – $455 per pound)
You’ll find this cheese at the Elk House in Bjursholm, Sweden — and that’s the only place you’ll find it. Three domesticated moose (adorably named Gullan, Haelga, and Juna) are responsible for the creamiest of crop, yielding roughly 600 pounds a year. Christer and Ulla Johansson, the farm and restaurant owners, sell three varieties of moose cheese: a rind style, a feta style, and a blue.
White Stilton Gold Cheese
($420 – $450 per pound)
Coming at you from Long Clawson Dairy, only six creameries around the world are even allowed to make this cheese. The crumbly, creamy cheese is typically a base, so that it can be blended with everything from apricot to ginger. This one’s flavoring is… well, gold. The name’s no gimmick either. Already a premium cheese, this version contains legit gold liqueur and edible gold leaf. Known for being Britain’s “blingiest” cheese, the thing’s a pretty big hit with celebrities these days.
($550 – $600 per pound)
Photo: No Garlic No Onions
This cheese is bonkers. With milk sourced from an endangered species known as the Balkan Donkey, Pule cheese from Serbia (and only Serbia, at the Zasavica Nature Reserve where only 12 of the 140 on-site donkeys are producing milk at any given time) is a big deal, making the meticulous process of its creation assumedly worth it. The Balkan Donkeys are milked by hand three times a day, with more than 15 of them required to score just a lone gallon of milk — and it takes 3.5 gallons to make a pound of Pule. The result tastes akin to a Spanish manchego. By the way, the typically noted price of $576 is actually something of a discount. More than $1,000 is the regular estimate.