100% Island of Pag Sheep Milk

The Island of Pag is famous for traditional Paški Sir (Island of Pag Cheese), which can only be produced on our Island using 100% Pag sheep milk, Paška Ovca (Pag sheep) are autochthonous to Pag.  Due to the islands relative isolation and particular conditions, these sheep have evolved for hundreds of years to become experts at traversing the rocky terrain in search of the hardy and sparse vegetation.

The pastures of Kolan, Island of Pag

The pastures of Kolan, Island of Pag

The Island of Pag is subjected to a powerful winter wind called the BURA which blows from the Velebit mountain range and comes across the Adriatic sea.  The BURA  dries the sea salts and carries them across the short expanse of sea then deposited salt dust upon the rocky pastures.  This in turn effects the chemical balance of the soil, resulting in several strains of herbs which can only found on Pag.  The most predominant being a unique strain of Dalmatian sage which is considered by many to be the gourmet sage ‘par excellence’.  This aromatic herb forms the largest part of the sheep’s diet.

Paška ovca, sheltering from the midday sun

Paška ovca, sheltering from the midday sun

Our sheep are completely free range on small family holdings and as well as having 200 sheep of our own, we buy from 250 families across Pag.  The milking season runs from January to June and with-out exception the milking is done by hand.  Shepherds deliver their milk to one of our collection stations or direct to our dairy twice daily, the milk then goes straight into storage for production the next day.

Nenad Fumić at 5am, one of our long standing partners in Kolan.

Nenad Fumić at 5am, one of our long standing partners in Kolan.

The milk produced by Paška ovca is uniquely high in butterfat even by the standards of sheep milk, and the high protein levels make it a perfect milk for producing cheese.  These unique flaours and qualities are carried through to our exquisite cheese and we pride ourselves on our careful balance between technology and tradition to fully imbue the taste of Pag.  Our Pag sheep milk is exclusively used in the production of our award-winning Paški Sir.

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In order to protect the cheese and the livelihoods of all the families involved, Gligora work closely with each farm to maintain high standards, protect the heritage and encourage expansion though collaboration. Gligora also encourage the high price of Pag milk (currently close to €2 per litre) so to make husbandry a viable trade for future generations.

Local shepherd watches his flock.

Local shepherd watches his flock.

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4 responses to “100% Island of Pag Sheep Milk

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