It seems some people consider pule, also known as donkey cheese, to be a real—and rare—delicacy.
Especially if your name happens to be Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star who is currently the number one ranked player in the world. As reported by the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Djokovic has bought up the entire 2013 output of the Serbian farm that produces the product, which is believed to be the world’s most expensive cheese. It was purchased for a reported $650 per pound.
The tennis champion is set to open a chain of restaurants in his native country, and wants the donkey cheese to be a featured attraction. By agreeing to buy the entire supply, Djokovic hopes to be assured there will be plenty to go around for his eateries.
The pule is produced on a donkey farm in Zasavica, in an area known as one of Serbia’s most famous wildlife and nature reserves. The crumbly white cheese has been compared to Spanish manchego, which goes for nearly $10 per pound. But the donkey cheese is prized for its deeper, richer flavor.
Because donkey milking machines are not manufactured commercially, the female donkeys are milked by hand three times daily—thus, the premium price for the cheese.
The manager of the Zasavica cheese company, Slobodan Simic, agreed to sell the entire year’s pule production to Djokovic in hopes that the tennis star would become a worldwide ambassador for the little known delicacy. “It is a great vote of confidence as well in what we do here,” Simic told the Daily Mail.
Donkey milk is said to be particularly healthy for humans as it has anti-allergen properties, and contains only one per cent fat. It also has 60 times more vitamin C than cow's milk.
If you were hoping to get your hands on some donkey cheese in the coming year, well, you’re probably out of luck. The Zasavic farm is said to be the only place in the world where donkeys are milked for cheese.
You can read the full Daily Mail article/pictorial here.
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