Cheese aficionados know that there’s no better delicacy at the end of a difficult day than a cheese platter paired with a fancy glass of your favorite wine.
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Due to the range of tastes and textures, cheese is something that can complement the taste of numerous dishes, satisfy your palate and excite your senses. It’s no exaggeration to call it a real highlight of any feast.
You might be surprised to find out that the most pricey cheese in the world isn’t produced with milk from cows but from donkeys. So let’s dive into the world of luxury and explore the most expensive cheeses in the world.
Pule ~$600 Per Pound
Pule opens our top of the most expensive cheeses in the world. Imagine that: it can reach $1,300 for a single pound on the open market! So why is it so pricey?
Pule cheese is produced from the milk of endangered Balkan donkeys, which are under special protection. The production requires much more time and effort than most other cheeses. It takes 25 liters (61⁄2 US gal) of milk to create one kilo or 2lb 3oz of such a cheese. The process takes three months. Sounds impressive!
Moreover, there is only one place in the world where expensive cheese is made: the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Serbia. Due to the complexity of production, the farm sells only about six to 15 kilos of cheese each year.
The benefits of donkey’s milk, which has a long history of medicinal and cosmetic uses, are numerous. The UN has recognized it as a great alternative for those having allergies to cow’s milk. By the way, there is a legend that Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey’s milk!
What is so special about the Pule recipe? Unfortunately, it’s a secret that has been used since as early as 1700. The cheese is characterized by a soft and crumbly texture with a sweet and clean taste, rich and deep in all its nutty exoticness. Some cheese experts compare it to Spanish Manchego.
Pule cheese is not widely available. Consider yourself lucky if you’ll ever have an opportunity to try this cheese majesty.
Pule cheese is highly sought after by cheese connoisseurs and is often served as a delicacy in high-end restaurants. It has a rich, creamy flavor and is said to have a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Pule cheese is also high in protein and other nutrients, making it a healthy food choice.
Moose Cheese ~$500 Per Pound
Moose cheese is another luxury cheese on our list. The only farm in the world that produces it is located in Bjurholm, Sweden. It’s called “Elk House.”
Three moose siblings named Gullan, Haelga, and Juno were adopted by the Johansson family and became real symbols of the renowned cheese. By the way, you can meet them on a guided tour when visiting the local restaurant.
The milk production process is as painstaking as in the case of Pule. It happens only from May to September. During this period, moose produce about five liters of milk daily. Animals must be handled tenderly, especially during milking. If they feel stressed or disturbed, their milk may dry up.
Nowadays, there are four different types of moose cheese sold from the “Elk House”: creamy blue cheese, dry blue cheese, feta, which is a top seller on the farm, and rind-style cheese.
White Stilton Gold ~$400-$450 Per Pound
Finally, let us share the world’s most expensive cow cheese: White Stilton Gold.
Produced in the Long Clawson village in Leicestershire County, England, White Stilton Gold cheese is considered the fanciest, ‘blingiest’ in the world. Here you can guess that it’s very much in vogue among celebrities.
The gold-flecked Stilton is a combination of real edible gold leaf and real gold liqueur. The idea was born as a limited edition for the Christmas market. Due to its popularity, creators started producing cheese year-round.
This delicious cheese is characterized by an intense and rich taste, which opens with creamy and nutty specks, followed by a salty finish. The texture is crumbly and soft.
If you want to amaze your nearest and dearest with such a visual luxury, it’s worth buying a piece of White Stilton Gold and adding some glamor to your dishes this Christmas.
Wyke Farms Cheddar ~$200 Per Pound
The award-winning Wyke Farms Cheddar cheese is a top-quality British cheese produced by Wyke Farms in Somerset near Cheddar village.
The production of this cheese, which is made from fresh cow’s milk, began in 1861. For more than 160 years, Wyke Farms have been producing farmhouse Cheddar cheeses using traditional techniques and only the finest ingredients.
Each farmhouse Cheddar is aged for up to 15 months in unique wooden boxes. Master Cheese Grader regularly checks them. Wyke Farms boasts that all of its cheeses are produced with 100% renewable energy.
Wyke Farms Cheddar cheese has a sweetish juicy nutty taste. It’s a perfect choice to add to a burger or sandwich. It pairs great with both wines and beers. By the way, Wyke Farms have a recipe page on their website with the use of their cheeses.
Extra Old Bitto ~$150 Per Pound
This rare cheese from the Lombardy Alps, made of a combination of goat’s milk and cow’s milk, is considered the oldest edible cheese in the world.
The Italian cheese Bitto Storico or Extra Old Bitto can be aged up to 18 years. Due to its early processing, which starts around 30 minutes after milking, the cheese has a long life. Early processing is vital for preventing bacteria from developing. The cheese can be consumed even after 10 years!
As the Bitto cheese ages, its texture becomes elastic, hard, and crumbly, its aromas get extremely intense, and its taste becomes sweet and delicate, characterized by all the distinctive flavors of the Alps.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find Bitto Storico in your local supermarket. You’ll have to make your way to Gerolo Alta, a tiny settlement located high in the Bergamo Alps. As there are only 12 producers of this cheese, imagine how hard it is to come by.
Caciocavallo Podolico ~$50 Per Pound
A rare Italian cheese, Caciocavallo Podolico, is especially popular in southern Italy. Being also known as “Horse Cheese” amongst cheese lovers, it’s commonly believed to be produced from horse’s milk.
However, Caciocavallo Podolico is made from cow’s milk. But it’s not so simple. It’s made from the organic raw milk of the rare breed of cow called Podolica. The cheeses are rope-bound, hanged in pairs, and slung over a beam or wooden board to age.
This creamy cheese, which has been produced since the 14th century, is pear-shaped. Caciocavallo Podolico has an edible ring and amazing flavors of the summer: berries and mountain grasses. While eating, you will also be able to notice notes of acidity that might tickle your tongue.
This cheese tastes best when consumed at room temperature and paired with dry red wines. Some gourmets enjoy it best with chestnut or strawberry tree honey.
Jersey Blue ~$45 Per Pound
Swiss cheese Jersey Blue comes from Lichtensteig in the St.Gallen canton of Switzerland. The cheese is anything but modern on our list, as it has been produced since 2006. Compared to Extra Old Britto, for instance, it hasn’t been around for long.
Willi Schmid is the father of this soft blue cheese. Together with his brothers, this award-winning cheesemaker owns several herds of cows. By the way, Jersey Blue is named after a breed of a cow whose milk it’s produced from.
The dome-shaped cheese looks like pure art and tastes even better. Each round has about a five-inch diameter and weighs approximately four pounds. Its soft and creamy taste can satisfy even the pickiest cheese experts.
Rogue River Blue ~$40 Per Pound
Rogue River Blue is the most expensive cheese made in the US, specifically in Central Point, Oregon.
The landmark blue cheese has won two awards: in 2003, it captured a “World’s Best Blue” title in London, and in 2009 it won a Best of Show Award in Austin, TX. Why is it so special?
During the aging period, which lasts from nine to eleven months, Rogue River Blue cheese is wrapped in vine leaves that are soaked in pear spirits. After becoming mature, the cheese is hand-wrapped in organic Syrah grape leaves. Now you can imagine that mind-blowing palette of flavors!
Made only during autumn months, Rogue River Blue is available for sale between November and December, so it’s frequently sold out in the remaining months. If you want to try a bit of the award-winning cheese, don’t miss it!
The Bottom Line
Though some cheeses may cost all the money in the world, their unique shapes, sizes, and flavors can give an unforgettable experience even to the pickiest gourmets.
The cheesemaking process of all the cheeses from the list differs from those you can find in your local supermarket wrapped in plastic. For instance, some of them are made from the milk of animals that are difficult for farmers to raise.
Have you already chosen your favorite from our list of the most expensive cheeses? Would you like to try the oldest edible cheese in the world, Extra Old Bitto, or taste Pule, the priciest one?
It’s high time to get your hands on some of these delicacies and cross them off your cheese bucket list!