PAŠKI SIR, CROATIA'S FINEST CHEESE ON THE SHOULDERS OF MANCUNIAN

Since swapping the industrial backdrop of Manchester for the arresting vista on the Island of Pag in Croatia, local boy Simon Kerr suddenly finds himself with the tradition and expectations of an ancient Island on his shoulders.

 

Manchester Skyline

 

 

Sunset from Kolan

 

Sunset from Kolan

 

 

Working for Croatia’s most decorated producer of Paški Sir, or Isle of Pag Cheese, life at Sirana Gligora is a far cry away from the inner city streets of Manchester where Simon was a project worker for many of the cities displaced teenagers.  Now given the responsibility to break into the hugely competitive artisan cheese market in the UK, he’s using all the aplomb that kept his head on his shoulders whilst coaching tearaway teenagers, to bring to us what really is a deliciously refined and unique artisan ewes’ milk cheese with a taste permeated by the Island special climatic conditions.

 

The modernly equipped dairy opened Jan 2010 in the village of Kolan

 

 

The 5 minute commute to and from work is quite a different experience on the Island of Pag

 

 

Simon, Mirna and Emily Kerr

 

 

Some of the early season Paški Sir from 2010, each wheel must be painstakingly turned by hand as part of the maturing process

 

‘Paški Sir really has its own story to tell’ recounts Simon who has delved into history books to increase his knowledge of cheese, ‘but my job is made easier by the fact that Paški Sir is a superb product, as testified by the countless awards it has won, particularly the 3 consecutive titles from the International Taste and Quality Institute in Brussels.  When I first started work here I was learning all the aspects of cheese making and affinage which would be a real eye-opener for any lover of cheese, but I couldn’t believe there was no sales in the UK, the home of the great cheese lovers.  I eventually talked the manager about entering Paški Sir in the International Cheese Awards in Nantwich where we became the first Croatian entrant and beat some excellent swiss and French cheeses to a Silver medal’.

 

Ružica Gligora and Simon with the awarded cheese at Nantwich 2010

On 7th September, less than 2 months after Paški Sir made its competitive debut on these shores, The Cheese Hamlet in Manchester became the first to sell Paški Sir in the UK, and its clear that Sirana Gligora are setting their sights on the higher end specialist cheese shops and delis for this sumptuously tasteful little gem. With the Cheese Society in Lincoln soon to follow suit (who were in the top 10 of best of the ‘British Cheese Shops’ by The Times) and more prospects in the pipeline, Paški Sir could well be this years crème de la crème of Christmas stocking fillers.

For more information you can contact Simon at simon.kerr@gligora.com

www.gligora.com

facebook/pages/Love-Paški-Sir/Voliti-Paški-Sir

 

From left to right, Nantwich Silver Award, iTQi 2010, Croatian Origin Product, Croatian Island Product, Grand Gold Medal Zagreb International Fair 2003, First Place Franciacorta Fair Italy 2003, Kosher Certification 2010

 

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