An undiscovered paradise for cheese lovers


Globally, cheeses, as well as milk products, have played an important role in gastronomy globally. Once used as one of the key nutritional products for survival, today they are one of the most common ingredients in the national cuisine. Countries that are recognizable for the high quality of these products are France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany ... For decades, these countries have had their own recognizable brands across the globe. Thus, in Italy, from the well-known mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, Gorgonzola, through Bavarian cheese in Germany, to Edam and Gouda in the Netherlands, world-renowned brands of Cheeses have been made in these countries, in addition to gastronomic recognition, and significant profits in export.

One of the countries that does not have such a prominent brand in the world and has much to boast about is Montenegro. Montenegro, although an extremely small country with only 600,000 inhabitants, compared to European giants, can also boast extremely high quality and diverse milk products. Especially because of its specific geographical composition, the proximity of mountains and the sea, fresh and saltwater, produces completely specific products and different in appearance and taste. Depending on the part of Montenegro, there are several types of cheese:

Prljo is a unique Montenegrin cheese with a hard texture, salty flavor, and low-fat content. It is traditionally produced from boiled milk after the whey has been removed. The cheese is then drained, broken into pieces by hand, and salted.
When prepared in the most traditional way, it is placed in sheepskin from two to four months until it is fully matured. Prljo can be consumed on its own or paired with cold cuts and bread.

Pljevaljski sir is a staple of many Montenegrin meals. It is produced in the municipality of Pljevlja, far north of Montenegro. It belongs to the group white brine cheeses, semi-hard or soft, with or without ripening. Results of chemical quality testing of Pljevlja cheese showed that the cheese was after 60 days of ripening, depending on the type of milk from which it was produced,This white cheese is traditionally produced from sheep's milk, although cow's milk or a combination of cow's and sheep's milk is often used nowadays. The cheese is characterized by its strong flavor and creamy texture.Its unique aromas are a result of the maturation process which takes place in specially designed wooden barrels - the sliced cheese is salted, placed into wooden barrels, then immersed in brine. Pljevaljski sir should mature for 3 to 8 weeks before it is ready for consumption.The cheese is so popular that there is even an annual event called Dani Pljevaljskog Sira, where numerous producers from the Pljevalj region present their cheeses.

Njeguški sir is a Montenegrin full-fat hard cheese produced from sheep's milk. The curd is first placed in a cheesecloth, then in a cheese mold, and finally, it is pressed with a wooden plank which is topped with a stone. After one day, the cheese is salted and placed in a wooden box for two days, and it is then left to mature for at least four weeks until the cheese is ready for consumption. The final product has a golden-yellow crust and a milky-sour, salty.It is produced in the Cetinje, Tivat and Kotor municipalities, that is, in the wider area of Lovćen and Grbelj. It belongs to a group of oily to full fat, semi-solid to hard cheeses: spicy taste, pleasant aroma, and older something sharper taste.

Leafy cheese by its technological characteristics belongs to the group of steamed cheeses made on Kolasin and Mojkovac municipalities. It characterizes him elastic and smooth structure, slightly acidic odor, recognizable by the unusual shape of slices that are thin like a leaf. The average fat content is 20.38%, protein 22.4%, 48.43% dry matter, 42.08% dry fat matter and salts 2.6%. 

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Wednesday, 29 May 2024

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