Mineral Point, Wisconsin is home to Hook’s Cheese Co., owned by Tony and Julie Hook. Since 2000, something very special has been incubating in their cheese cave, and it will soon be ready to make its grand debut: A 20-year aged cheddar that will sell for $209 per pound.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that this is the second time the Hooks have released this exceptionally rare cheese and at this same price point; last time, in 2015, all 450 pounds of it sold out in two days. It seems that money is no object when limited-run cheese is involved. This year, they’ll be selling 500 pounds.
Tony Hook told the Journal Sentinel that to age the cheese properly, he taste-tests his cheddar vats every year “to make sure that it’s developing the way I want.” What we wouldn’t give for a supercut of all his trips down into the cave, lovingly tending this cheese as the decades come and go, the cheddar eventually swapping its Rita Hayworth poster for Marilyn Monroe and then Raquel Welch.
The Journal Sentinel article lists resources for those looking to advance order the 20-year cheddar, which will be released May 23. If the $209 price tag sounds gouging, know that half the proceeds will be donated to the Dairy Innovation Hub, which funds dairy research at the University of Wisconsin. And besides, you don’t need to buy anywhere near a pound of this stuff; you’re probably looking at no more than $50 for your cheddary slice of paradise. That’s downright reasonable, especially if you cut it into samples, invite a dozen friends to join you in a group tasting, then make them all pony up.