Some of the great joys of Christmas time come when families gather together beside a fireplace, sheltered from the cold, enjoying each other's company and perhaps a nice bottle of port or sherry. There might be a small plate of almonds, cheese and crackers nestled between the port glasses, providing salty substance late into the night. For some, this has been the picture of domestic bliss for decades, even centuries.
For others, though, it's just looks cheap. These others demand to be able to spend as much on that small ceremony as most families spend on all the Christmas presents under their trees.
Such people can get a lot of money mileage out of their beverage; the most expensive port at the tony Sherry-Lehmann wine store in New York costs $2150 a bottle, for example.
But for a specific few, that's not enough. They want to be able to maximize their cheese spending, as well.
Hope springs eternal for the truly profligate, though. This year's savior comes from a 100-year-old cheesemaker, Long Clawson Creamery, in Leicestershire, England. The dairy is producing a new kind of Stilton, called Stilton Gold, that is flecked with a copious helping of real gold leaf. The cheese, which is being produced in a limited run for the holidays, is sold for 60 pounds per 100 gram slice. That means that, at 11/16 exchange rates, a pound of Stilton Gold costs $429.50.
The Independent reports that the creamery has already been contacted by several well-known potential buyers, including an oil sheik and a pop star.
If you're worried about being able to get your own slice of Stilton Gold shipped to you safely, but still want to eat metallic stinky cheese this Christmas, your best bet might be a kind of DIY version of the delicacy. Buy a big hunk of nice Stilton cheese from Murray's, for $20 a pound. Then go on Amazon and buy a whole bottle of edible gold leaf, a relative steal at $38.95. When you've assembled all the ingredients, dump the whole bottle of gold leaf on top of your pound of Stilton and serve. Congratulations: you've just saved $370, plus shipping and international tariffs.