Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Most Expensive Cheese Platter in the World

I’ve always loved cheese, whether in a sandwich, on a pizza or just plain cheese out of a tin. I was really interested, when I heard about a $3,200 cheese platter in the news, and wanted to know more about it.

This cheese platter was displayed at the Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show in Somerset, England, and had some of the most unique cheeses in the world…hence, the expensive price. In fact, it had eight different cheese varieties, all served upon a glittering silver tray. Some of these cheeses were a gold-flecked cheddar cheese, a Serbian cheese made from donkey milk, and a goat’s milk cheese.

But $3,200 for this cheese platter? Let’s see what else went into the platter’s extraordinarily high cost:

Well, the cost of this cheese platter included:
  • The cost of the silver serving tray worth about £600. 
  • A handcrafted wooden cheese board priced at £120. 
  • A solid silver cheese knife worth £445. 
  • A French Brie with truffles, priced at a whopping £52 per kilo.
  • The gold leaf Vintage Cheddar cheese costing £252 per kilo, from Somerset’s Wyke Farms. 
  • The goat milk cheese that was covered in ash, priced at £32. 
  • Bosworth Goats’ Cheese, manufactured by the Highfields Farm Dairy in Tamworth, costing £8.95 for 200g. 
  • The Banon, an exotic cheese made from unpasteurised goats’ milk, and matured inside brown chestnut leaves. This cheese sells for about £7.95 for 100g. 
  • Abbaye de Belloc cheese: This cheese is made from the unpasteurised milk of the red-nosed Manech ewes sheep. It is traditionally made by Benedictine monks in the Pays Basque region of France. This unique cheese is priced at £44 per kilo.
Of course, the rarest and most expensive cheese in this platter is the donkey-milk cheese from Serbia. Called Serbian Pule Cheese, this cheese is made in the Zasavica reserve north of Belgrade, in Serbia. The cheese is called ‘Pule’ cheese after the animal it was got from, as in the Serbian language, the word ‘pule’ means ‘foal’.

The main reason why this cheese is so expensive is that is takes more than 25 litres of donkey milk to produce a single kilo of Serbian Pule Cheese. As donkeys produce very little milk, and are difficult to milk, it requires a lot of effort to collect those 25 litres of donkey milk. In fact, about 100 donkeys had to be milked to produce this single kilo of Serbian Pule Cheese. If you’re weight-conscious, you’ll be happy to know that the Serbian Pule Cheese is also low on milk-fat.

Interestingly, this cheese platter did not contain the two most expensive cheeses in the world: Moose Cheese and Caciocavalla Podolico. While moose cheese is made from the milk of three female mooses (I’ve even got their names: Gullan, Haelga and Juna), Caciocavalla Podolico is made from horses milk. The moose cheese is made from May to September, and requires moose milking for two hours. This cheese is priced at $500/ pound, while the horse milk cheese is priced at $650 per pound.

I’m not sure I would be able to afford this cheese platter, but true cheese connoisseurs would certainly rush to buy it. Such cheese varieties go well, with some of the finest wines of this world, and millionaires who know this, wouldn’t mind splurging on this expensive cheese platter.

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