An artisan blue cheese sold for over $16,000 at an auction in Spain, shattering the Guinness world record for the most “expensive cheese in history.”
In August 2018, 15 different restaurateurs from across the country met for an auction of 5.78 pounds of Cabrales cheese from the Valfríu cheese factory — one of the strongest blue cheeses in the world, Guinness said in a Thursday press release.
Attendees kept raising their bids during the seemingly endless gathering — until no one topped the $16,223.99 offer proposed by Iván Suárez, the owner of El Llagar de Colloto in Asturias.
“There seemed to be no limit to the bidding, and it lasted for almost two hours,” a Valfríu cheese factory spokesperson said in the Guinness release. “The audience was very lively and applauded incessantly. The peak moment was when the figure of €10,000 [about $11,328] was surpassed, which was when we realized that we were on the way to the record.”
“We thought it was a good idea to investigate and see if it was the most expensive cheese in history,” he added. “That’s how it all started, and luckily it ended well.”
The Cabrales Regulatory Council contacted Guinness to see if there was already a record set for the most expensive cheese sold at an auction. There wasn’t — so that set things in motion.
Since the auction, Suárez has been working with the Valfríu cheese factory and orders from them every week, Guinness said.
Suárez also has an exclusive display for Cabrales cheeses available for purchases and recommends them to all patrons.
Cabrales cheese maturates within the caves of Picos de Europa, where it remains for three to six months with weekly rubbing and turning. Most of those areas cannot be reached by car, so workers need to walk more than a mile carrying the cheese on their shoulders, Guinness said.