Pule cheese has a fascinating backstory that most people are unfamiliar with. This cheese is the rarest in the world because it is manufactured from donkey milk. With the exception of a few high-end eateries, this pricey cheese is rarely sold commercially. My goal was to tell the tale of pule cheese to people who are interested in learning more about lesser-known fermented foods, as well as those looking for a unique cuisine experience when travelling. Consider visiting Zavasica nature reserve and tasting Balkan donkey cheese, the world’s rarest variety of cheese, if you ever travel to the Balkans, particularly Serbia.
What is Pule Cheese, exactly?
Serbian pule cheese is created from donkey milk from the Balkans. It is white in colour and crumbly in texture, comparable to feta but richer than Manchego.
Pule cheese is made on a donkey farm in Zasavica, known as the Zasavica donkey reserve, some 80 kilometres from Belgrade. This cheese is made by hand-milking a herd of only 100 Balkan donkeys, which are now considered endangered. The Zasavica reserve hopes that by selling donkey cheese for $1700 per kilogramme, it would be able to support the conservation of this species and prevent it from becoming extinct. One of the reasons why this Serbian cheese is the most costly in the world is because of this.
What is the Reason for the High Cost of Pule Cheese?
One kilogram of white and crumbly smoked Pule cheese requires around 25 litres of donkey milk. Jenny (the female donkey) can only produce 0.2 litres of milk per day. All of the milking (three times a day) must be done by hand because there are no milking equipment that suit donkeys.
On the farm at Zasavica Special Nature Reserve, donkeys are used to make Pule cheese. Slobodan Simi, the owner of this farm, is the only person in the world who makes this type of cheese (or “sir” in Serbian). The dairy used to manufacture this cheese is incredibly rare, and donkeys must be milked three times a day because they only eat once a day.
Pule cheese contains only 1% milk fat, while donkey milk contains 60 times the vitamin C of cow milk!
Nutritional Value of Donkey Milk Benefits-
We all know that dairy is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, healthy fats, proteins, and calcium, among other critical vitamins and minerals. That is why milk is regarded as a healthy food. Cheese manufactured from milk, of course, has a larger nutritional content. Cheese’s healthy fats and proteins are believed to promote health and aid in the body’s healing and repair processes.
If we were to choose one cheese out of all of them to maximise these benefits, it would undoubtedly be Pule. Donkey’s milk is about 60% more nutritious than cow or goat milk, and it contains a wide range of vitamins that can aid in body healing in both acute and chronic conditions.
Unsaturated Fats vs. Trans Fats
Because of its low fat content, donkey’s milk is good at lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has been discovered to contain fewer dangerous saturated fats and more good fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids -linolenic acid and linoleic acid are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both of these types of fatty acids have therapeutic qualities that can aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels and the prevention of plaque development in blood vessels.
Allergies are avoided.
Anti-allergens in donkey’s milk can help you avoid recurrent attacks of allergic disorders like asthma, dermatitis, and bronchitis. Consumption of the world’s most costly cheese or milk may boost the body’s immune response to allergens, allowing people to avoid symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, skin rashes, nasal blockage, and other allergies-related symptoms.
Action of Antioxidants
at every step, our bodies are exposed to many pollutants. Toxins can be found in the air we breathe as pollutants, as well as in the food we eat as chemicals and preservatives. Donkey milk contains more vitamin C, which works as an antioxidant and may protect human organs and tissues from damage. Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce the development of autoimmune illnesses like SLE – Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Serbia’s efforts to increase the number of Balkan donkeys succeed. Pule cheese is a unique and healthful product with numerous advantages.