Edward Zahn, 73, was in Z's Cheese Shoppe's walk-in cooler last month, preparing to shut down his Oconto store. He pushed aside stacks of cheese to reveal several wooden boxes that had been overlooked for years.The Wisconsin Cheese Mart has already sold out the October 6 vintage cheese tasting.
Inside were blocks of unintentionally aged cheddar - 28, 34 and 40 years old - that, some experts say, might comprise the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled and sold to the public.
"It just got overlooked," Zahn told the Wisconsin State Journal of the 40-year-old cheese. "It looks just like the others except it's just a lot sharper. It's got character."
Ken McNulty, who owns the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee, bought about 20 pounds of the 40-year-old cheddar and 120 pounds of 34-year cheddar. He declined to reveal the price he paid.
Cheese is often sold by the pound, but McNulty plans to sell the oldest cheese by the ounce so more people can get a taste.
A Wisconsin cheese dealer holds a going-out-of-business sale, and there's some unexpected gold in the inventory.