When one thinks about the world’s most expensive cheese, French and Italian varieties usually come to mind first. It may be a surprise to discover that the priciest cheeses on the market do not come from the prime production countries. They do not come from a cow, either. At five hundred dollars per pound, the second most expensive cheese in the world hails from a farm in northern Sweden.
The reason for the large price tag is due to the milk being produced by a moose. Three moose, in fact; named Gullan, Haelga, and Juna. Yes, really. The 59 acre moose farm, called Moose House, is owned by Christopher and Ulla Johannson. Only 660 pounds of the cheese are made each year and sold to high end hotels and resorts. The moose have a limited milking time between May and September, which explains the rarity and cost of this cheese. It is hard to believe that there is an even more expensive cheese than the Moose variety, but there is.
Ringing in at a whopping €1,000, or $616, per pound is a smoked cheese called Pule. This pricey pound comes from the Zasavica reserve in Serbia and is produced from the milk of a donkey. The breed of donkey used for the Pule only produces twenty five litres of milk each year, and each drop of that is turned into cheese. The milk from the one hundred Balkan donkeys on the reserve is stored for an entire year before cheese production can begin. With three figure price tags, you will not be finding these varieties in your local cheese shop.
Both producers offer samples at their facilities, but the traveling costs usually outweigh the excitement for the average cheese lover. Until they become supermarket staples, most will have to settle for a chunk of Gruyere and a dream.
Keep being ewenique!