The bus driving force shook his head. “Zatvoren,” he stated, searching at my price ticket to Pag. “Closed. I turned into scheduled to travel to Pag, a barren, moonscape-like island off Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast. However, the bridge became closed. Paški most – the bridge connecting the island to the mainland – is the handiest factor of entry using the avenue, and the bureau, a mighty north-jap wind, thwarted my plans. The bura (also called bora) can attain storm-electricity speed.
Its 2004 file within the Dalmatian city of Split was 174.6km/h. Its unusual gusts define Pag and its famous cheese, Paški sir, dusting wild herb-filled pastures with Adriatic sea salt, which offers the sheep’s milk a unique flavor. Robust, salt-lined fragrant herbs – which includes sage, sea fennel, St John’s Wort, immortelle, and thyme – are a treat for the sheep. After spending the night on the mainland, expecting the bridge to re-open, I headed to Pag the next morning. Instead, clouds shrouded the steely blue-grey Velebit mountain range like a thick wool cloak.
The bus crossed the slender bridge to the island over the short stretch of sea, making its way past sand-colored hills and snaking should (limestone dry partitions). Neat, rectangular salt apartments had been orderly in an otherwise untamed panorama, and giant white wind turbines revolved lazily. But, looking at the calm surface of the slate-blue Adriatic, it changed into nearly impossible to trust the violent bureau had pummelled the island just the day previous.
This thin, finger-fashioned island, approximately 60km long and shy of 8km at its widest point, is domestic to around 35,000 to 40,000 hardy, autochthonous sheep called paške once and eight,500 human population, many of whom are worried within the cheese enterprise. From small own family artisans to its most prominent producers, Paška Tirana, Sirana Gligora, and Sirana MiH, Paški sir is the island’s satisfaction.
Pag’s award-prevailing cheese is continually making headlines. Paška Tirana won a Gold Award for Sheep Milk Specialty Cheese on the Global Cheese Awards in 2017; that same yr, Sirana MiH gained a gold medal for its Paški sir at Croatian Cheese Days; and Sirana Gligora’s Paški sir earned the Super Gold Award at the World Cheese Awards in 2018. In 2019, Paški sir achieved ZOI reputation, Croatia’s countrywide equivalent of the European Union’s PDO (covered designation of beginning), which specifies that Pag cheese can most effectively be made on Pag using milk Pag sheep and salt from the island.
ZOI repute is a section before obtaining PDO popularity from the European Union, and producers are eagerly watching for the safety of the Paški sir name for the duration of the EU. Paški sir changed into the food of the human beings for centuries – they ate it for survival,” said Milan Orešković, head of production at Sirana Gligora, a creamery founded through Ivan Gligora in 1995 and managed by his son, Šime.
Costing as much as one hundred euros for a 2.6kg wheel, Paški sir is now a delicacy that locals supply as presents and eat on special occasions. It is not a cheese for the sandwich,” stated Martina Pernar Škunca, advertising and marketing supervisor at Paška Tirana. Founded in 1946, that is the oldest creamery on the island, and it produces a hundred tons of Paški sir yearly. Pernar Škunca’s father, Ante Pernar, changed into CEO of Paška Tirana for 35 years, and her family is one of the employer’s owners.