Count me curious but a bit skeptical… not because of the age of the cheese, but about what it was to begin with, factory cheese or, as I call it, “tourist cheese”, one of countless varieties available at roadside cheese shops in Dairyland. I’ve had 13 and 15-year Wisconsin cheddar, wax blocks. Neither were particularly good, rather tasting like “cheese food” or the cheese powder that comes in a box of Kraft.
Here’s a block of the 13 year, eaten about one year ago:
From the PSA:
The Wisconsin Cheese Mart will be having a 28 year block cutting party at 11am on Saturday Oct. 6th.
The 28-year-old Cheddar will be priced at $6 per ounce, and will only be sold at the store’s Cheese Bar. Additional super-aged Cheddars, at 20-plus years old, will be offered for sale in one-half pound wedges at the Cheese Mart shop $60 per pound.
All aged Cheddars are in excellent shape, and feature substantial crystallization on the outside of each block, said Wisconsin Cheese Mart owner Ken McNulty. The cheeses are sourced from two different Wisconsin cheese factories. Each block features an exact date of production and letter of verification from the cheesemaker.
“We are extremely lucky to have found these blocks of Wisconsin Cheddar and look forward to sharing them with the public for the first time on October 6th,” McNulty said.
The 28-year-old Cheddar is crafted by Ed Zahn, long-time cheesemaker at County Line Cheese in Oconto. A back injury in 1989 forced him to retire from cheesemaking, so Zahn decided to run a retail cheese shop instead. This spring, Zahn decided to retire for good. While sorting through the store’s inventory, he found a big surprise: two blocks of 28-year-old Cheddar, which he had made at County Line in 1984.
“During the process of transferring cheese from the factory into another walk-in cooler, some of the blocks were misplaced in the walk-in cooler,” Zahn said. In a letter that will be included in every ounce of the 28-year-old Cheddar, Zahn says: “I take pride in the cheese that I made at the County Line Cheese factory from 1960 to 1988. Despite the fact that County Line is now closed, you can still enjoy my superb cheddars.”
In addition to the 28-year-old Cheddar, Wisconsin Cheese Mart will also offer a series of 20-plus-old Cheddars, some also produced by Zahn, and others crafted by cheesemaker Wayne Hintz, owner of Springside Cheese in Oconto Falls since 1973. Well-known for its award-winning Bandaged Cheddar and White Cheddar, Springside Cheese is one of northeast Wisconsin’s longest-running factories.
In a signed letter to be included with each 20+ Aged Cheddar, Hintz writes: “The cheese you purchased today is not only rich in flavor, it is also rich in tradition and history. Hand-made more than 20 years ago, it is one of the most aged cheeses in the world. I hope you enjoy its taste as much as I enjoyed crafting it.”
Cheesemaker Intros: 11am
The Lost Cheddar Story 11am to 11pm
Block Cutting : 11:30am
28 Cheddar available on Cheese Plates : 12:00pm
Ultimate Vertical Cheddar Tasting: 7:00pm
Some more event details:
This Event is free. However, we will limit attendance to our capacity.
Sampling of 28 year old immediately after block cutting
Pairing with Wisconsin beers and wines
The cheesemakers’s will be available to speak after the event.
If you wish contact us about this event, please email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-414-272-3544.