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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Pule, the priciest cheese from donkey milk !!

Fond of Bengali Rasagulla ? Rasgulla is a syrupy dessert -  a whitish spongy variant made from ball shaped dumplings of  Indian cottage cheese. 

Some do loads of work throughout yet when it comes to recognition, they are not treated properly  ! no straight references !!. We call it doing donkey work !!! – the donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae.  These animals were domesticated thousands of years back and have been utilized for carrying loads ….. while domesticated species are increasing in numbers, the African wild ass and another relative, the onager, are endangered. In comparison with domestic horses, the donkey hoofs are accommodated to rocky and rough surface. They provide them safe support, but they are not very suitable for running.

In the beginning, when domesticated, the donkeys had been used for riding and as pack animals. Later on, they were replaced with horses which were much stronger. After that, the trace of donkeys was lost in old civilizations.  The donkey milk was also used, as well as their skin.  In local lore, donkeys had been used to transport loads, especially clothes by washermen. In the fables and fairy tales a donkey is a stubborn, and very often stupid animal. Therefore, the word donkey is at present used in the pejorative sense.

Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms.  Cheese consists of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. It is produced by coagulation of the milk protein casein. Typically, the milk is acidified and addition of the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form.  Hundreds of types of cheese are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging.  For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice.

Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk.   Here is something on the World’s most expensive cheese made from donkeys' milk costs £800 a wedge.  The cheese, known as pule, is produced on a donkey farm in Serbia and costs around £800 [Rs.77000 approx] per kilogram. It is said to require around 25 litres of fresh donkeys' milk to make a single kilogram of the pricey cheese.

An article in MailOnline in Nov 2012 had detailed on the priciest cheese, known as pule, made from donkey’s milk – from a farm in Zasavica, one of Serbia's most famous natural reserves.  It is said to take 25 litres of donkeys' milk to produce a single kilogram of the pule cheese.  The farm in Zasavica resort, west of Belgrade, also produces bottled donkeys' milk, which is said to have been a beauty secret of Cleopatra.  Other expensive cheeses include a Swedish moose cheese which costs around £630 per kilogram, and Caciocavallo Podolico, a cheese produced from the milk of a rare Italian breed of cow that only produces milk during May and June.

Another report mentioned of Tennis champion Novak Djokovic buying up World’s supply of donkey cheese at £400 a pound for new restaurant chain.  It stated that the Tennis ace bought up the entire 2013 output of the Serbian farm which produces it. He  is opening a chain of restaraunts in his native Serbia, and wants the donkey cheese, known as pule, to be a main attraction.  The Zasavica farm, which lies 50 miles west of the Serbian capital Belgrade, boasts a herd of 130 and is said to be the only place in the world where donkeys are milked for cheese.  By agreeing to buy the entire supply, he hopes to ensure there will be enough to go round – although it is not clear how much he will charge for a portion.

You simply cannot ignore it as ‘donkey matter’ though you may not be inclined to buy at that rate or eat donkey cheese.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Feb 2015.

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