If you’ve ever gone to purchase cheese and have been absolutely taken aback by the sheer cost of a slice then you’ve probably asked yourself the same question...why is cheese so expensive? Cheese lovers around the world want to know, and so did we.
So, we looked for statistics regarding cheese consumption to first make sense of who’s consuming the most cheese in the world (these places certainly aren’t lactose intolerant). And, we found that from vegan to cheddar and even blue cheese, there’s a correlation between some of the world’s most expensive cheese and the consumption of it, at least a little bit.
Whether you’re eating cheese or earning cheese, you’ll be interested to learn about what makes it so expensive and where you can find the world’s best cheese without breaking the bank. Get ready for a tasty (and somewhat smelly) dive into the cheese history.
Which Countries Consume the Most Cheese?
When you think of cheese you might think of Wisconsin. Or, perhaps you think of the Netherlands, France or Switzerland. And, surprisingly, none of those places even crack the top three places in the world when it comes to cheese consumption.
Statistics show that Denmark has the highest level of per capita cheese consumption, followed by Iceland and Finland. Coming in at fourth and fifth were France and Cyprus respectively. But, just how much cheese do these countries consume?
Danish people on average ate 28.1 kilograms of cheese per person. That’s nearly 62 pounds of cheese per year per person. And, when they’re serving cream cheese Danishes so delicious, we honestly kind of get it. The French, living in a country that produces some of the best cheese in the world, ate 27.2 kilograms of cheese per person.
So, it looks like that from mac and cheese and cream cheese frosting to broccoli cheddar soup and the ever-classic cheddar cheese, Nordic countries actually consume the most cheese. People in the United States surprisingly only consumed 16.7 kilograms per person (or roughly 37 pounds per year).
What Makes Cheese Expensive?
Buying good cheese can be pretty expensive. And, that’s due to a lot of different factors. First of all, cheese obviously starts out with milk, which is a commodity in most countries. Depending on the price of milk in a specific place, you’ll notice that the price of cheese also fluctuates up and down. And, if the cheese is made from grass-fed or organic milk, expect the price to increase that much more.
Then, you’ve got to factor in the cost of transforming milk into cheese. It’s a process, folks. You don’t just let it sit in a vat for a while and voila. No, it’s much more complex than that and therefore much more costly. Smaller artisanal cheesemakers don’t have access to the kind of machinery that larger factories might, which means they’re only able to produce a small batch at a time. This increases production time and leads to higher prices due to the exclusivity.
Now, it’s time to age the cheese. And, you’ll find that some of the world’s most expensive cheese have been cave-aged, cellar-ripened or even aged in open-air conditions. Each comes with its own process and timeframe and requires well-trained staff to ensure the process is carried out correctly.
Exploring The World’s Most Expensive Cheese
According to cheese experts, in 2019 the world’s most expensive cheese cost $576 per pound. What kind of cheese costs that much? It’s called Pule, and it’s a crumbly cheese from Serbia. Still, what’s the big deal? They use donkey milk and it takes 25 liters just to make one kilogram of the coveted cheese.
Coming in at the No. 2 spot in terms of the most expensive cheese in the world was Moose Cheese. This must be what all of those Nordic countries are eating. It’s worth almost $500 per pounds and they produce it as the Elk House in Bjursholm, Sweden. All cheese comes from just three domesticated moose named Gullan, Haelga, and Juna. That’s a lot of work for just three moose.
And, the third most expensive cheese in the world? You’ll have to pay $450 per pound to try it, but it’s a cheese from the UK called White Stilton Gold. If you can’t scrape together the cash for a pound of it, they sell slices for $95. And, while the cheese truly is said to be delicious, the allure is more about the fact that it’s made with real gold flakes and gold liqueur.
Spending Cheese On Cheese
Has all this talk about expensive cheese got you thinking about whether you could earn enough money to even pay for a slice? Or, perhaps you’re thinking of how you can take your own hard-earned cheese and invest it to eventually be able to purchase a whole pound.
With the help of a Cheese Debit Card, you can save while making purchases. This debit card is 100% free: no overdraft fee, no monthly fee, no ATM fee etc. For every purchase you make, you can get cashback; with saving bonus, you can save more cheese for your favorite cheese.