Cute little donkey
Food - Drink
The Expensive Serbian Cheese That's Made With Donkey Milk
What is Donkey Cheese?
Serbian donkey cheese, magareći sir, or "pule," is a cheese made from 60% Balkan donkey milk and 40% goat milk, with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Since Balkan donkeys produce little milk and are seldom bred, the cheese is quite rare, making it expensive and highly sought after by gourmet food enthusiasts.
How is Pule Made?
Pule is made with traditional techniques beginning with milking the donkeys by hand, curdling the milk, and then draining and pressing the curds into molds. The cheese is then aged for a month, making it a young, rindless cheese, and packaged and sold for an average of $600 per pound.
What Makes Pule Unique
Aside from being rare and laborious to produce, pule cheese is sought after because it has a soft yet crumbly texture with a flavor similar to but stronger than manchego. Moreover, the cheese is packed with minerals, vitamins, and proteins and is low in fat and cholesterol making it a healthier cheese option.
What Does it Taste Like?
Pule is known for its strong, pungent flavor that is slightly tangy yet nutty and earthy with a hint of saltiness, giving it a flavor that is often described as that of a young manchego. The cheese’s rich, buttery flavor is then counterbalanced by its soft, crumbly, and dry texture similar to that of feta cheese.
How to Enjoy Pule
Since pule is a delicacy that is typically served in small portions, you’ll likely find it served in fine-dining restaurants, but the cheese is also featured in traditional Serbian recipes. If you’d like to try pule, keep it simple with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of course sea salt to bring out the favors.