Cheese is probably the most popular dairy product in the world, a food that predates written history. In 2004 alone, over 18 million metric tons of cheese were produced worldwide. The world’s most expensive cheeses, however, are a little harder to come by.
One expensive cheese is only produced at one farm and at a very specific time of year. Unusually, the cheese isn’t made from cow’s milk—the milk comes from moose! Moose House, a 59-acre moose farm located in northern Sweden, is where the cheese is produced from three foundling moose named Gullan, Haelga, and Juna.
The moose are unusually tame, which is the only reason Moose House owners Christopher and Ulla Johannson can collect milk for the cheese. Even then, they can only be milked between May and September and the process takes about 2 hours per animal, hence the outstanding price of the cheese.
The moose cheese is 12% fat and 12% protein and only about 660 lbs are produced annually. The Johannsons sell it to high end Swedish hotels and restaurants for about $500 per pound.
If you’re surprised that moose cheese is so expensive, then you’ll be floored by Pule, the most expensive cheese in the world.
Pule comes from the Zasavica reserve north of Belgrade, capital of Serbia. A kilogram of the smoked cheese is priced at €1,000—around $616 per pound—but has no special ingredients beyond 25 liters of donkey milk.
Yeah, you read that right—donkey milk. The cheese even gets its name from the animals, as pule is the Serbian word for foal.
The milk is collected from 100 Balkan donkeys that make their home in the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve. The cheese is low in milk fat which, according to the reserve’s manager, is why no one else is making it.
Their success with pule has even spurred the reserve’s staff to find more applications for donkey milk, from cosmetics to a special donkey milk liqueur.
Pule Cheese $616