Like a good cheeseburger? Lasagna? Wine and cheese? Any of the various foods that include or use cheese in any of its many and varied forms?
Well, here’s one you may not have heard of: Moose cheese. Yes, really. Excerpt:
Moose-milking can’t be easy. Perhaps that’s why moose milk cheese can set a buyer back as much as $500 per pound, making it one of the most expensive cheeses in the world (it’s still not nearly as expensive as pule, a donkey milk cheese from Serbia). But for those with a druthers for dairy, The Elk House (Europeans call their moose “elk”) in Bjurholm, Sweden, makes four varieties of the pricey product, all thanks to three moose sisters.
The House farm’s three milk-producing mavens—Gullan, Haelga, and Juno—lactate only from May through the end of September. Coaxing the five liters of milk from each moose per day takes a delicate hand and calm demeanor, which leads to the product’s prestige and price. The Johanssons, who own the farm, make four varieties from the high-protein milk: soft, white mold cheese (similar to Camembert), creamy blue cheese, dried blue cheese, and feta. The latter, which gets preserved in a neutral vegetable oil, is the Elk House’s bestseller.
Wow. Just… wow.
Actually, being open to most culinary adventures (and having the beltline to prove it) I’d be open to trying moose cheese. I’ve had goat cheese and found it unappealing. But moose cheese is enough different that I’d be willing to have a go, especially since the price it commands seems to indicate that demand well outstrips supply; that’s usually a sign that consumers find that product appealing.
Still. Moose (or, as they are known in Europe, elk) are big, powerful and frequently fractious animals. With their long legs and heavy splayed hooves, they can deliver a powerful kick. And milking a big quadruped puts the milker in the ideal position to get kicked. One wonders where the Johanssons found three moose (elk) cows tame enough for the job.
Whatever the story, I’m glad that the price of the product evidently makes their labors worthwhile.