Delicacy or Fishbait? Chicagoist Tastes the 40 Year-Old Cheese


Chuck Sudo is no 40 Year-Old Cheese Virgin, not now. In August there were reports that a Wisconsin cheesemaker and seller had found a stash of 1970s and 1980s cheddars accidentally forgotten about in his coolers— and thus stored well enough to be certified as the oldest cheddars ever sold in America. The Chicagoist editor popped up to Milwaukee for a vertical cheese tasting of the various ages of the cheddar, from 40 years old to 28 to 5 and 12-year-old cheddars (which are regularly available at retail in Wisconsin). The 28-year-old, though gooey, had remarkable complexity of flavor, but the 40-year-old— which fishermen were buying as cheesebait— was even more extraordinary:

The 40-year-old cheddar was so creamy it began to melt in my mouth after I bit into it. The crystals on the surface and inside the cheese made for an amazing contrast in textures and the sharpness of the cheese worked perfectly with some 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon.

So is it worth $10 an ounce? Read to find out. [Chicagoist]