Cheese is one of the most popular foods. Cheese lovers appreciate their benefits and variety. The cost of cheese depends on many factors: the cost of caring for animals, the cost of raw materials, transportation, processing, production volumes, etc. In some cases, people are willing to pay astronomical amounts to satisfy their gastronomic preferences. We present to your attention the most expensive cheese in the world — Pule.
What Is Donkey Cheese?
Donkey cheese (Pule) is made from donkey milk in the Serbian nature reserve Zasavitsa. It has a delicate unique aroma and crumbly texture. The shocking price ($1200 per 1 kg) is due to the extremely rare and large volume of milk for production: 1 kg of donkey cheese requires 25 liters of rare donkey milk.
Pule cheese has the status of the most expensive cheese in the world. The reason for such a high cost is that this variety is made from high quality milk from Balkan donkeys.
HARDNESS — Soft
MILK — Goat or donkey
MOLD — No mold
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN — Serbia
FAT — 35%
ENZYME — Animal
What Is The Price of Donkey Cheese?
How much does donkey cheese cost? In the past few years, the cost of the pule cheese has ranged from $700 to $1,700 per kilogram or $400-$900 per pound. On average, 1 kg of donkey cheese costs 1000 euros (£870; $1328). One of the key reasons for such a high price is the large volume of raw materials required to make cheese.
The production of just one kilogram takes from 25 to 30 liters of milk. Unlike cows and goats, donkeys produce very little milk. At the same time, they are milked exclusively by hand: this is an incredibly time-consuming process that significantly limits production volumes.
Why is Donkey cheese so expensive? Pule cheese is so expensive because you need 25 liters of donkey milk for making just 1 kg of cheese. Such rare donkeys produce very little milk can be found only in Serbia. They are milked exclusively by hand: this is an incredibly time-consuming process that significantly limits production volumes.
Today, more and more people refuse to eat cow’s milk products due to intolerance to cow protein. The new superfood is donkey cheese, which has a number of advantages: it has 60 times more vitamin C than regular milk, as well as protein, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, it is anti-allergenic and contains only 1% fat. Moreover, it is believed that the daily consumption of even a small amount of donkey milk or cheese can help fight asthma and bronchitis.
The only donkey cheese producer in the world is Slobodan Simic, the owner of a donkey farm near Belgrade. Today his herd numbers 300 heads, which are milked 3 times a day. One kilogram of cheese requires 25 liters of fresh donkey milk, and donkeys produce much less milk than cows or goats. This is probably why the cost of cheese is rather high – $ 1,000 per kilogram.
It is impossible to prepare enough donkey cheese for its permanent commercial sale: it can be purchased only by individual order. Slobodan Simic, the only cheesemaker in the world who prepares bullet, said that by selling this type of cheese, he is trying to fund the preservation of a rare species.
What Does Pule Cheese Taste Like?
What does Donkey cheese (Pule) taste like? Donkey cheese (Pule) has a spicy, pungent, intense flavor that combines the freshness of aromatic herbs, the warmth of fresh milk and the sunny salt of the Serbian land, on which the donkeys graze. Pule has a crumbly texture and is similar to the Spanish manchego cheese, but with a deeper, richer flavor. Manchego is sold in European supermarkets for a relatively cheap price of $ 20 per kg, and is, of course, a more modest option.
Is Pule Cheese Good?
Pule cheese is extremely good. It has a unique salty-spicy flavor of aromatic herbs and a soft texture. It contains fatty acids, vitamins D, E, B, A, as well as folic acid. All these vitamins support the nervous system, improve eyesight and hair structure. Not only is pule cheese tasty, but also healthy.
Pule Cheese Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Pule cheese benefits: Pule cheese has adopted all the properties of the milk of the Balkan donkeys, therefore it contains a large amount of fatty acids, vitamins D, E, B, A, as well as folic acid, which is necessary for pregnant women. All these vitamins support the nervous system, improve vision and hair structure.
Pule cheese contains calcium and potassium. Pule consumption prevents the development of cardiovascular and other diseases, along with this, the skeletal system, teeth, legs are strengthened, and the condition of the skin improves.
Donkey milk contains about three hundred different substances useful for the human body, including antioxidants, lipolytic enzymes, omega-3 and omega-6, large amounts of calcium, vitamins, minerals.
Donkey milk contains antioxidants that help the body stay young and healthy. It also contains lipolytic enzymes – these are compounds that improve the breakdown of fat molecules in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is recommended to accompany any meal with donkey milk, as the food will be absorbed and digested better.
Donkey milk is considered especially healthy and valuable in comparison with other types of milk. Since ancient times, it has been used not only for food, but also as a cosmetic product. For example, in ancient Rome, women washed themselves with this milk, believing that this would preserve their beauty and prolong their youth. Donkey milk was used for “rejuvenating” baths. Research has shown that the substances in donkey milk stimulate the synthesis of collagen, which is known to be the structural basis of the skin. So donkey milk is indeed a kind of analogue of the “elixir of youth.”
Contraindications for Pule Consimption
It is not recommended to eat Pule cheese in large quantities for people with stomach diseases: peptic ulcer, gastritis and the diseases of the pancreas and kidneys. Those with obesity and type 2 diabetes should not eat large quantities of cheese. Donkey milk has a fat content of at least 35%, which is a fairly high figure.
What to cook with Pule cheese? Since this cheese is unique and quite rare, it is recommended to use it in dishes dominated by its taste in order to fully appreciate the delicacy. You can add cheese to a light salad, make cheese and herb tartlets, and other snacks. Cheese is also served with fresh vegetables, or consumed neat with suitable drinks.
Which wine goes well with Pule cheese? Fruit wines such as Ningbo Best Spirits, Katlenburger or Gerstacker are perfect for the delicate and crumbly Pule cheese. White Riesling wines are also suitable. Among them are the wines of Peter Mertes, Kabinett, Beerenauslese.
The History of Pule Cheese
Pule cheese is made from the milk of a donkey, but has managed to become popular among many discerning cheese connoisseurs. This product is produced only in one place on earth, in the special nature reserve “Zasavitsa” in Serbia. That being said, even if you are willing to pay $ 1000 or more for this product, you are unlikely to get it, since the Pule cheese is very rare.
The process of making Pule cheese is very slow, as the noble Balkan animal is milked by hand. To complicate matters, donkeys cannot give more than two liters of milk per day. To understand the scale of production: 1 kilogram of Poulet is prepared from 25 liters of milk. This is where the high cost of the product comes from.
Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic brought worldwide fame to the pule cheese. In 2010, he bought the entire stock of cheese from Slobodan Simic in honor of the opening of his own restaurant chain. The cheese maker was extremely happy with such cooperation, because Djokovic’s act served as a bright and memorable advertisement for the donkey cheese. Media attention was drawn to gourmets who also wanted to purchase this exclusive cheese, but they had to wait a long time before Simic could replenish his supplies.