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Dh4,183 kilos: Serbian donkey could be the world's most expensive cheese



The white, thick and rich flavor, the Serbian unique cheesecake is not only tasty but also good for your health, says Slobodan Simic.

There is only one catch – at € 1,000 (Dh, 4,183) pounds, but it could be the most expensive cheese in the world.

Since 2012, Simić and his team of farmers have flocks of more than 200 donkeys living in a natural reserve in northern Serbia Zasavica.

Their milk has similar properties as breast milk, and Šimić promotes it as a cure for a variety of diseases, including asthma and bronchitis.

"A human baby can take this milk from the first day, not to dilute it," he says, calling it "a miracle of nature."

The donkeys eat grass in the field on June 19, 2019 at the natural reserve of Zasavica in northern Serbia. The white, thick and rich flavor, the Serbian unique chewing cheese is not only tasty but also good for your health, says creator Slobodan Simic. There is only one catch per 1,000 euros per kilogram, which could be the most expensive cheese in the world. Since 2012, Simić and his team of farmers have flocks of more than 200 donkeys living in the natural reserve of northern Serbia Zasavica. Their milk has similar properties as breast milk, and Šimić promotes it as a cure for a variety of diseases, including asthma and bronchitis. / AFP / Andrej ISAKOVIC

Slobodan Simic and his team of farmers since 2012 have flocks of more than 200 donkeys. AFP

Although lack of scientific research makes it difficult to evaluate its health characteristics, milk is highly proteinic and the United Nations recognizes it as a good alternative to those with allergies to cow's milk.

But "what nobody in the world does, and could never do, is a chewed cheese", says Simić about his leading product.

Warming milk has low levels of casein – a kind of protein that acts as a binder in cheese production.

However, a staff member in Zasavica has found that parts of dairy can be mixed with some goats to make crunchy cheese, known as chicken.

The mixture also helps to compensate for the fact that donkeys produce less than a liter of milk a day – a 40 l cake that a cow can provide.

Farmers sell six to 15 kilograms of cheese a year, mostly to foreigners and tourists visiting, says Simić. They produce extra soybean milk.

For Simić, the job is also a way of protecting the Balkan ass, an animal that has become less prevalent because the machines occupy their place in agriculture.

"We keep the need for this animal and now there are more and more donkey farms, the demand for donkeys is bigger … which is a very good thing for us and for the region," he says.

The unique product became a cover in 2012 after rumors that Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic redeemed the annual offer – which he denied.

Updated: June 29, 2019 11:38 AM


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