Cheese the new gold?

Is this the new white gold?

Dairy has become more expensive than some top cuts of meat in Canada, and the cost is hitting restaurants and food processors the hardest, says the head of the food services industry, according to a news report by CBC News this week.

“A kilogram of cheese is more expensive than a kilogram of steak. A litre of milk is the same price as a litre of orange juice from Florida,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

“They now call cheese white gold,” he said. “It’s very, very expensive. I saw it today. A 500 gram brick at an [Ottawa] grocery store was on sale — $2 off. It was $6 for 500 grams, so it was $12 a kilogram. A top sirloin steak was on sale for $9 a kilogram,” said Whyte in an interview with CBC News Monday.

The association has called for a 16.5 per cent reduction in the price of industrial milk at a meeting Monday with the Canadian Dairy Commission in Ottawa.

The report got me thinking. (I hear you saying, Uh, oh!) Mr. Whyte deals with industrial milk so he’s talking mass-produced cheese, industrial rather than artisinal. The question for me is just what have I been paying recently for really good cheese?

Bonnie & Floyd, a wonderful sheep’s milk cheese, was $70 a kilogram at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese last week. My recollection is I paid the same $70 a kilo at Thin Blue Line Cheese Boutique for superb Tomme de Gaston about a month ago. At Cheese Boutique, Migneron de Charlevoix is $64.50 a kilo this week while Benedictine Blue goes for $49.90 a kilo. The six-year-old cheddar from Black River Cheese in my fridge cost $46.23 a kilo.

Clearly, Mr. Whyte would have a heart attack if he knew the price of artisinal cheese. No question, the best cheese is expensive . . . but it’s sooooooooooooo good!

And quite a bargain when compared to actual gold which today is trading at $42,751.23 a kilo.

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