40, 34 and 28 Year Old Cheddars Found...34 yr Old is Up For Sale.....
According to a story on the AP...Preparing to close his store, a Wisconsin cheese shop owner recently found 3 cheddar cheeses he'd overlooked. The aged cheddars dated 28, 34, and 40 years old. Experts say it may be the oldest collection ever assembled. Another cheese shop owner, Ken McNutty of the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee, has purchased 20 lbs of the 120 lb wheel, 34 year old cheddar, and plans on selling it for $10 and oz. so everyone can sample it. McNutty (who purchased the cheese) commented that he was "pleasantly surprised the milk hadn't soured from the 40 year old and 28 year old blocks". He has yet to try the 34 year old cheddar & plans to cut it open on October 6. When asked what the 40 year old cheddar tasted like...McNutty said "If you get a piece close to the outside, it's all crystallization, so it's crunchy like corn flakes. As you get closer to the interior, it's creamier and overwhelminly sharp." I would give anything to be one of the "lucky" that actually gets to sample this!!!
This could be true...BUT as a consumer I would want to see the labels/marking off of the original block/wheel. Cheese business are notorious for saying a cheese is X age when in reality it is not (how do you prove it?), and the fact that these were found when a business is closing is suspect in my humble opinion. But at only $160 per pound why not go for it - I will stick to my $5 per lb 3 yr cheddar that I know is good.
Okay- here's my rant.
Older is not always better.
Think about it like fine wine- there's a profile where wine improves, then starts it's decent into plonk.
Cheese has enzymes that continue to be active as long as any moisture is present. These enzymes can create good flavors, they can also cause rancidity and other off flavors.
Also, any cheese retailer that didn't know they had cheeses in his shop for FORTY FRICKING YEARS needs to clean and do inventory more often, because that's a pretty sad commentary on his hygiene standards.
Older is not always better. But in the immortal words of PT Barnum, there's a sucker born every minute.