From Ewe to You – Does Paški Sir cheese age like a fine wine?

Continuing the journey of Paški Sir cheese in our series ‘From Ewe to You’ we ask does Paški Sir age like a fine wine?  To view the journey from the beginning where we went out with local farmer Mađar to see how the sheep are milked on the Island of Pag click here.

While Paški Sir 05227 continues to mature under the expert care of the Sirana Gligora team, we’re going to look at the effects of time and how the cheese changes in taste, texture and aromas during the maturation process.  Don’t forget this wheel of cheese will be up for grabs in our competition when it’s fully matured so to be in with a chance make sure you subscribe to the blog at the top right of the page and follow us on our Facebook page.

Most cheeses aren’t labeled with a date of production so its difficult to tell just how old a cheese is once its on the shelf at your local cheese mongers, and for many cheeses that you buy it wouldn’t really matter as you’d just consider the tastes.  But the age of the cheese, in particular with a hard pressed cheese like Paški Sir, can have a profound effect on the overall taste and finish.

From left to right this years production showing the early signs of aging

While the cheese is maturing in Sirana Gligora’s cheese cave, each wheel steadily loses moisture and becomes harder over time, the colour on the outside and in will become darker and the aromas become much more pungent and complexed which is a result of the enzymes and bacteria creating aromatic compounds.

So now we’ll compare 2 different ages of Paški Sir to look at the differences in taste and texture.  The first, a 2 month old samples from this years production and the other, a 13 month piece from our fast depleting supply of aged cheese from last year.The production and ingredients of Sirana Gligora Paški Sir are strictly protected by a Croatian Government label which is something akin to a PDO on a national level.  The PDO application is currently being negotiated and is expected to be approved in less than 12 months.  This ensures that each wheel is made to strict guidelines in ingredients and methods.  With the main ingredient being of course the Pag milk, which Sirana Gligora use exclusively in our Paški Sir.

While there was no mistaking the distinctive taste of Paški Sir in both samples, there was a huge difference in appearance, the younger being a blushing yellow and the older a rich golden brown.  The aromas too were quite different, with fresh buttery and grassy smells of the younger with hints of citrus compared with the nuttier, more robust toasty aromas of the 13 month cheese.

On the inside, the younger cheese has a firm texture but a somewhat supple feel which completely disappears in the older as the moisture is much lower, resulting in a marble like structure with a crumbly texture.

As you would expect both samples deliver the same farmhouse tastes which are attested to Paški Sir.  While the taste in the younger is much more subtle and eloquent while it melts nicely in the mouth, the older gives much more complex flavours with a long and lingering aftertaste.

I asked several of the staff at Sirana Gligora which they prefer, the younger or older, but the results were inconclusive.  While 5 people including Suzi the master cheese maker preferred the younger cheese, 7 preferred the older more mature flavours.

But what is certain is that Paški Sir does age like a fine wine, but like with all things, personal preference to what is the best will always prevail.

Meanwhile, Paški Sir 052272 continues to develop and is now 18 days old, we’ll release details soon of how to win this particular wheel of cheese and when the winner is announced they can decide at what age they want the cheese to be sent out at.  But please, if your going to enter the comp make sure your prepared to send us plenty of pictures so that we can complete the journey of ‘From Ewe to You’

To be in with a chance to win, make sure you subscribe to this blog at the top right hand side of the page and follow us on Facebook where we will post details of the competition.

To view the next post in the series which is all about terroir, click here.

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5 responses to “From Ewe to You – Does Paški Sir cheese age like a fine wine?

  1. Pingback: From Ewe to You – Affinage – Win a Wheel of Paški Sir Cheese « Sirana Gligora, Paški Sir·

  2. Pingback: From Ewe to You – Terroir « Sirana Gligora, Paški Sir·

  3. Pingback: SIRANA GLIGORA PAŠKI SIR ARRIVES IN THE US « Sirana Gligora, Paški Sir·

  4. Pingback: From Ewe to You – Paški Sir 05227 at 8 weeks « Sirana Gligora, Paški Sir·

  5. Pingback: Gligora Dairy, Island of Pag cheese, and the rise of Paški Sir | Sirana Gligora, Paški Sir·

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