Premier presentation of young cheeses from Pag along with gastronomic specialties of the island of Pag

The first En primeur was a real gastro show where you could taste the first cheeses of the six members of the Association of Pag Cheese Producers.


29. March 2024.

Pag cheese is well known in Croatia, but also outside our borders. On several occasions, it has been singled out in foreign media as a gastronomic specialty that guests should by no means avoid if they visit tourist destinations on the island of Pag.

Along with the lunar landscape, salt and lamb, Paški cheese has greatly contributed to the branding of the island as a tourist destination.

The landscape certainly contributes to the quality of Pag's delicacies, especially cheese made from the milk of sheep fed on local vegetation, which is naturally covered with sea salt by the strong wind. This is what gives this fantastic cheese its distinctive sharp and salty taste.

In 2017, the Association of Pag Cheese Producers of the Island of Pag started the process of protecting the name "Pag Cheese", which two years later the European Commission registered in register of protected marks of authenticity and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs).

En primeur young Paski cheese photo eugen rebernisak 1
Photo: Eugen Rebernišak

En primeur young Paski cheese photo eugen rebernisak

The specificity of breeding Pag sheep is based on its all-day stay on pastures and the consumption of aromatic and medicinal herbs, which is reflected not only in the amount of milk produced, but also in its chemical composition and processing characteristics.

About thirty thousand dairy sheep are bred on the island. The tradition of organized cheesemaking dates back to the 18th century, and more than 200 tons of cheese are produced annually.

The geographical area of ​​Pag cheese production includes the island of Pag and two islets - Maun and Skrda. The cheese matures for at least six months, and optimally for a year or longer.

Premiere of young Pag cheeses

However, registration in the register was not the end of the promotion of the Pag specialty. The Association of Pag Cheese Producers continued and expanded its work on the visibility of well-known and lesser-known Pag brands.

This time, she gave more importance to young Pag cheese, which, as Croatian tourism develops, is becoming more and more popular.

The association presented and exhibited young Pag cheese for tasting at a special event, En primeure of cheeses, which took place in the Boškinac restaurant. The premier tasting of young Pag cheeses met the expectations of both exhibitors and numerous visitors.

"Young Pag cheese must spend a minimum of 90 days in the ripening room before it goes on sale. Its production takes place right now in this part of the year, from January to July. That's when our shepherds have the most work because milking takes place twice a day.", she said to dobrahrana portal President of the Association of Pag Cheese Producers, Martina Pernar Škunca.

Currently, the Association has twelve members, namely: Paška cheese, Gligora cheese, Mih cheese, Puđa cheese, OPG Tomislav Vidas, OPG Krunoslav Vidas, OPG Branimir Čemeljić, OPG Emil Oštarić, OPG Franjo Zubović, OPG Domagoj Škoda, obrt A & S and OPG Figurica. Presentation of current Pag cheese production in the form of en primeur It is a logical move by the Association of Pag Cheese Producers, which correctly valorizes cheese culture and Pag cheese as a product.

The first En primeur was actually a real gastro show where you could taste the first cheeses of this year: Paška sirana, Gligora cheese, Mih cheese, and three OPGs: Krunoslav Vidas, Branimir Čemeljić and Franjo Zubović.

En primeur young Paski cheese photo eugen rebernisak 2
Photo: Eugen Rebernišak
Boskinac young Paski cheeses photo eugen rebernisak
Photo: Eugen Rebernišak

And after the premiere tasting of young cheese, it was the turn of the unique dishes of this area. In the Boškinac restaurant, they designed a Pag menu in 15 courses, which included the young Pag cheese, six cheeses that were presented at En Primeur.

"We incorporated cheese everywhere, because today is the cheese festival, the premiere of young cheese", he told HRT Boris Šuljić, chef and owner of a restaurant with a Michelin star

"The producers exhibited the first young Pag cheeses, and Boškinac prepared delicacies from Pag sheep, cheese, lamb, cottage cheese and whey. The pure essence of Pag. But what also makes me happy is that it was an excellent introduction to a new gastronomic story that has just opened for us. will follow in April. The Catering Guild of Novalja and the TZG Novalja announce the arrival of MarsOvca! It will be a tribute to the indigenous domestic pet whose products will be fully presented at the event of the same name! Bljak and Mljac table, all the best and the slightly less best will be presented through everything that this age-old breadwinner of Pag has: cheese, meat, offal, whey, cottage cheese... We will offer the story both to the professional public and, in our central city square, to everyone who wants to get to know the true gastronomy of Pag.", she told Novi list Marina Šćiran, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Novalja.

Pag cheese is well known to gourmets both in Croatia and the world, it is appreciated for its quality and recognition, and the quality is confirmed by the profession.

At the recently held tourism fair in Naples, the dinner with the flavors of Zadar County also included specialties with Pag cheese that delighted the Italians, known for their rich tradition of cheese production and consumption.

Author of the cover photo: Eugen Rebernišak
Source: Novalja Tourist Board


29. March 2024.