I smell a rat (and a cheese)

I note that a new record has been set for the world’s most expensive cheese.

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’s more at the link.

That figure translates to a selling price of $2,807 per pound – expensive indeed!  However, it seemed suspicious to me, so I read the article more carefully.  Sure enough, I found this:

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.

Reading between the lines, this appears to have been not a “new world record” so much as a deliberate manipulation of the Guinness World Records for the purposes of commercial promotion.  The restaurant (and, apparently, a prime distributor for the cheese factory) appears to have deliberately arranged to pay an inflated price for one particular batch, and is now seemingly using the Guinness World Record accolade to promote the cheese (and its own profits).  The quality (or otherwise) of the cheese would appear to be of secondary importance, and probably has nothing to do with its cost.

Caveat emptor, as always.  This is one cheese – and one world record – I won’t be buying!



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