Top 10 Most Expensive Cheeses in the World and Why


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Cheeses

A decadent cheese platter can make any party or get-together a tasty affair. But the most flavorful cheeses often cost far more than mild options. So, if you’re looking to create an extravagant cheese platter (or try a gourmet cheese), you’ll want to choose one of the most expensive cheeses in the world.

The most expensive cheese is Cabrales blue cheese. This intensely flavorful cheese comes from Asturias, Spain, and is made of cow, goat, and sheep milk. A two-kilogram hunk of this cheese was sold at auction in 2019 for $22,787, equating to $5,168 per pound.

This ranking will reveal which cheeses are the costliest, helping you select a luxury-grade curd that’s certain to satisfy your taste buds.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Cheeses in the World:

  1. Cabrales Blue Cheese – $5,168 per pound
  2. Pule Donkey Cheese – $600 per pound
  3. The Elk House Moose Cheese – $500 per pound
  4. Long Clawson White Stilton Gold – $420 per pound
  5. Wyke Farms Year-Aged Cheddar – $200 per pound
  6. Bitto Storico Cheese – $150 per pound
  7. Old Ford Goat Cheese – $50 per pound
  8. Caciocavallo Podolico Cheese – $50 per pound
  9. Jersey Blue Cheese – $45 per pound
  10. Beaufort d’Ete Aoc – $44 per pound

10. Beaufort d’Ete Aoc – $44 Per Pound

Beaufort-d'Ete-Aoc

If you’re a fan of Gruyere cheese, you’ll want to consider ordering a hunk of Beaufort d’Ete Aoc. This buttery cheese is produced in the French Alps using raw cow’s milk.

It’s a slightly sticky yellow cheese that pairs well with salty crackers and sweet fruits. It’s also one of the most expensive European cheeses, with an average price of $44 per pound.

Its unique flavor profile results from a year-long aging process, so you’ll want to savor every bite of this cheese.

Why It’s Expensive

After tasting this French cheese, you’ll understand why it’s so expensive. It has a savory flavor that helps stand above other types of Gruyere. The year-long aging process also adds to the final price, as do importation fees.

Still, you might be able to spend a little less on this cheese by visiting Chambéry, France. But, of course, the cost to travel to this mountainous town might outweigh potential savings.

9. Jersey Blue Cheese – $45 Per Pound

Jersey-Blue-Cheese

This flavor-packed blue cheese is a product of Jersey, a small island off the coast of France. It’s only made by one artisanal cheesemaker, Willi Schmidt. This makes it one of the rarest cheeses on the planet, a fact that contributes to its comparatively high price.

Like other types of blue cheese, Schmidt’s Jersey Blue Cheese tends to be sharp and tangy. Its flavors develop and become more intense as it ages.

While you could enjoy this cheese without crackers or fresh fruit, it often tastes better when paired with complementary snacks. For example, a handful of some of the world’s most expensive nuts can make this cheese even more luxurious and satisfying.

Why It’s Expensive

Unlike most store-bought cheeses, this blue cheese is handmade by a single maker. As such, it’s not available in large quantities, making it a relatively rare treasure for cheese lovers. This low supply makes it more valuable than other cheese.

8. Caciocavallo Podolico Cheese – $50 Per Pound

Caciocavallo-Podolico-Cheese
photo source: Culturecheesemag.com

Caciocavallo Podolico is one of the most prized Italian cheeses, and it’s a win for the Slow Food Movement. That’s because it’s created using centuries-old cheesemaking traditions specific to the Campania Region.

This classic production method differentiates it from mass-produced cheeses made in factories. This cow’s milk cheese has a unique gourd-like shape and an earthy flavor that pairs well with cured Italian meats and rich Italian wines.

Fortunately, you don’t need to book a flight to Italy to enjoy this cheese. Instead, you can buy it online! Still, you’ll need to be willing to spend about $50 per pound, which is far more than you’d pay if you purchased cow’s milk cheese at your local supermarket.

Why It’s Expensive

This cheese is expensive because it’s an artisanal cheese made using traditional methods. However, it’s also one of the most prized cheeses in the world, making it an in-demand product for cheese connoisseurs. This combination of slow production and high demand boosts its initial price.

7. Old Ford Goat Cheese – $50 Per Pound

Old-Ford-Goat-Cheese
photo source: Cheese.com

Goat cheese is typically known for its creamy, crumbly texture and mild flavor profile. But Old Ford was an exceptionally dense and intensely flavorful alternative to run-of-the-mill goat’s cheeses.

Sadly, this cheese is no longer available. Mary Holbrook, the person responsible for creating this unique goat cheese, passed away in 2019. Thus ended nearly four decades of Sleight Farm’s Old Ford cheese production.

But Sleight Farm (now part of the Somer Valley Farms in Somerset) may produce more top-notch goat cheese in the future, so be sure to keep an eye out for the return of this high-priced cheese.

Why It’s Expensive

This goat cheese was expensive because of its scarcity and aging.

Old Ford was only produced on a single farm in Somerset, England, and it was created by a single person—Mary Holbrook. In addition, it took anywhere between three and eight months to age, so the labor required to make this cheese was much more than the labor needed to produce standard store-bought goat cheese.

6. Bitto Storico Cheese – $150 Per Pound

Bitto-Storico-Cheese
photo source: Wikipedia

Most cheeses are allowed to age for several months, with a year typically being the maximum aging time. But Bitto Storico is aged for almost two full decades!

The incredible 18-year aging process makes this cheese one of the most flavorful options on the planet, but it also makes it quite pricey. You can expect to spend at least $150 per pound on this Italian cheese.

Like Caciocavallo Podolico, Bitto Storico is a slow cheese. It’s made from the milk of free-range cows and goats, and flavors vary depending on how long the cheese is aged and its production year.

Why It’s Expensive

You can’t order a wheel of Bitto Storico online. Instead, you’ll have to visit the rural town of Gerolo Alta in the Sondrio Province of Italy to enjoy a taste. The prolonged aging process and the comparative rarity of this cheese also make it far pricier than other cheeses.

5. Wyke Farms Year-Aged Cheddar – $200 Per Pound

Wyke-Farms-Year-Aged-Cheddar
photo source: Virtual Cheese Awards

Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese in the world, and it comes in several varieties. The most flavorful type of cheddar is typically aged, but the amount of time it’s allowed to age significantly impacts its price.

The year-aged cheddar made by Wyke Farms in Somerset, England, might not be as old as Bitto Storico, but it’s the costliest type of aged cheddar, costing $200 per pound. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most accessible types of high-end cheese, as shoppers can order it online or find it in stores throughout the United Kingdom.

This British cheese pairs well with a nice cup of tea. For a truly lavish experience, be sure to brew a pot of one of the most expensive teas in the world.

Why It’s Expensive

The extra-long aging process required to make this cheese is partially responsible for its high price. The longer a cheese ages, the higher the labor costs incurred during the cheesemaking process.

However, those living outside the United Kingdom may pay more for this cheese due to importation and transportation costs. After all, keeping a cheese fresh while it travels across the Atlantic Ocean is no small feat and often requires costly refrigerated shipping.

4. Long Clawson White Stilton Gold – $420 Per Pound

Long-Clawson-White-Stilton-Gold
photo source: BBC

Many of the world’s most expensive foods and beverages feature luxurious, high-priced ingredients. Long Clawson White Stilton Gold is one such snack, containing edible gold derived from gold leaf and gold-infused liqueur.

This British cheese is produced by Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire and was released during the winter of 2011. It cost $420 per pound, in no small part due to its gold ingredients.

Like other types of Stilton, this cheese is quite creamy. But the addition of gold components may impart a slightly metallic taste.

Why It’s Expensive

High-priced ingredients and a limited edition production period are the main reasons behind this cheese’s high price tag.

Gold leaf and gold liqueur aren’t cheap ingredients, so adding them to any cheese will make it pricier. But this cheese also saw a limited run, only available to shoppers during the latter months of 2011.

Unfortunately, Long Clawson Dairy no longer produces this gold-infused cheese.

3. The Elk House Moose Cheese – $500 Per Pound

Moose-Cheese

Most types of cheese are made of cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Cheese made from other types of animal milk tends to be quite rare, making them incredibly expensive. The Elk House’s (Älgens Hus) moose cheese is a top-notch example of this phenomenon.

This Swedish cheese comes from three tamed moose, so supply is extremely limited. But if you’re willing to spend $500 per pound on this rare comestible, you’ll be able to choose from four varieties, including feta, dried blue, creamy blue, and white mold.

The texture of these cheeses is often described as creamy, and flavors range from acidic to smooth and mild.

Why It’s Expensive

Moose cheese from Sweden is expensive because it’s rare (only made from three moose). Acquiring this cheese can be incredibly expensive, as you’ll likely need to visit the Älgens Hus farm in Bjurholm, Sweden, to buy some.

When you add transportation and accommodation costs to the initial $500-per-pound price, it becomes evident why this cheese is one of the priciest on the planet.

2. Pule Donkey Cheese – $600 Per Pound

Pule-Donkey-Cheese
photo source: SCMP

Like moose cheese, donkey cheese is comparatively rare. But pule cheese is the priciest variety of donkey cheese.

This tasty curd is produced in Serbia’s remote Zasavica Special Nature Reserve. As such, the supply of pule cheese is almost always low. Additionally, this is one of the most ingredient-intensive cheeses ever made.

To produce a single kilogram of pule cheese, you’d need more than six gallons of donkey’s milk! Additionally, this milk comes from endangered animals, Balkan donkeys. For these reasons, pule donkey cheese costs about $600 per pound.

Why It’s Expensive

It’s no surprise that pule donkey cheese costs several hundred dollars per pound. Making this cheese is time-consuming and requires an excessive amount of milk.

Besides, pule donkey cheese is only produced by one farm in the remote area of Serbia’s Zasavica Special Nature Reserve, and its made from endangered Balkan donkeys.

In short, scarcity of supply and higher-than-average labor costs make this cheese such a costly commodity.

1. Cabrales Blue Cheese – $5,168 Per Pound

Cabrales-Blue-Cheese
photo source: Guinness World Records

The most expensive cheese in the world is Cabrales blue cheese. It earned this title after selling at auction in 2019 for a whopping $22,787!

This two-kilogram chunk of crumbly cheese was delicately veined with Penicillium, an edible mold that gives blue cheese its vibrant color and distinct flavor. It’s an artisanal cheese that’s only produced in Cabrales, a rural region of Asturias, Spain.

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reasons this blue cheese is so expensive are rarity and flavor. Cabrales blue cheese only comes from a handful of livestock animals in the Asturias region of Spain, and it’s one of the most intensely flavorful types of blue cheese ever created.

Why Are Some Cheeses So Expensive?

The type of cheese available from your local grocery store might only cost $20 per pound. So why do some cheeses cost hundreds of dollars per pound?

The priciest types of cheese are often expensive due to:

  • Milk rarity
  • Age
  • Precious ingredients
  • Desirable flavor

Let’s take a quick moment to review these factors and discuss how they impact cheese prices.

Milk Rarity

Except for vegan cheese, most cheeses are made from animal milk. And the rarer the milk, the pricier the cheese made from that milk. For that reason, the most expensive milk in the world can become the priciest cheeses.

The Elk House’s moose cheese and Serbia’s pule cheese (made from donkey’s milk) are two fantastic examples of how rare milk can result in expensive cheeses. After all, moose and donkey milk are far less common than cow’s milk.

Age

Cheese that’s aged over several months (or years) is typically far costlier than fresh cheese that isn’t aged. That’s because the aging process can be labor-intensive.

Cheesemakers may need to ensure that their aging cheeses stay within a specific temperature range and aren’t exposed to too much moisture. They may also need to remove exterior layers throughout the aging process. These tasks require a fair bit of work, resulting in a higher production cost.

This higher cost is then passed onto the consumer via higher-than-average product prices.

Precious Ingredients

While most cheeses are a combination of milk and flavorful bacteria, some also contain precious ingredients. For example, Long Clawson White Stilton Gold contains two types of edible gold.

This precious metal is one of the most expensive materials in the world, making every bite of this cheese a luxuriously costly experience. But, of course, pricey cheese ingredients aren’t worth much if the final product’s flavor isn’t appealing to consumers.

Desirable Flavor

Cheese gourmands are often happy to pay higher-than-average prices to enjoy unique cheeses with desirable flavors. Tastiness is one of the primary reasons why the Cabrales blue cheese sold at auction in 2019 fetched more than $5,000 per pound.

Cheeses with mild or subtle flavors tend to retail for far less than those with a strong flavor profile.

What Is the Most Expensive Cheese in the World?

The most expensive cheese in the world is Cabrales blue cheese, a rare two-kilogram chunk of Spanish blue cheese sold at auction in 2019 for $22,787. That equates to $5,168 per pound!

This semi-hard artisan cheese had an intense flavor that helped distinguish it from other types of blue cheese. The craftsmanship required to make this cheese, and its pungent flavor, likely contributed to its incredible final selling price.

Are you interested in learning more about the world’s most expensive foods and beverages? If so, be sure to check out these related articles!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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