Paški sir now protected at European level

November 27, 2019 :



Cheese from the island of Pag is the latest Croatian product which has now been protected at EU level. On Monday, the European Commission approved the application for inclusion of ‘Paški sir’ in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications.

The cheese, reputed to be the most famous artisan cheese in Croatia, stands out for its aromatic richness derived from the aromas of local plants and the traditional know-how of the island’s cheese makers.

Under the registration document, Paški sir is described as a hard sheep’s cheese produced from whole sheep’s milk from the island of Pag’s native breed of sheep. ‘Paški sir’ cheese is produced on the island of Pag and the two islets of Maun and Škrda. The product is matured for at least 60 days before being marketed.

Croatia has 24 products in the EU registry

Paški sir cheese is produced on the island of Pag, which geologically falls within the karst area, where land is barely cultivable. The dominant karst relief and Mediterranean climate have influenced the characteristics of the plant cover and the development of sheep farming as the main agricultural activity. Pag has much less vegetation (in particular tall plants) than the other large Adriatic islands, so much of its land cover is dominated by karst pastures, which are very important for farming on the island as they account for 90 % of total agricultural land.

Recent floristic and phytocenological scientific research into the most common compositions of pastures on the island of Pag have identified 331 species of vascular flora, most of which belong to the Mediterranean floristic element. The specific natural conditions primarily favour the growth of the typical flora of Mediterranean grass­ lands. A large proportion of aromatic and medicinal plants can therefore be found on most of the island’s pastures.

Centuries of sheep selection on the island of Pag have created the native breed of sheep, Pag sheep, which is almost exclusively bred on the island of Pag and which is unmatched in its ability to exploit the scarce vegetation of the rocky pastures and fully adapted to the semi-extensive farming method, in which milk production is largely deter­ mined by environmental factors.

Croatian Culininary Products   and Croatian Oenological Products

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