This gift from unspoilt nature is named after Bovec, picturesque little town located between high peaks of Julian Alps.
Together with high quality cottage cheese, Bovec Cheese is the main product of the local herdsmen. It is made out of raw sheep’s milk, which is in comparison to cow’s milk more nutritious, as it naturally contains 50 % more fat and proteins. Therefore, Bovec Cheese is classified as full-fat hard cheese. Sometimes small quantities of cow or goat’s milk are added to it, but not more than 20 %. A cheese wheel has a round shape of a diameter between 20 and 28 cm, and its light yellow inner part is moderately perforated with small holes. To make sales easier, each wheel today weighs 3 kilos on average, while in the past wheels weighing up to 6 kilos were produced for easier transportation to the valley. It matures after two months, but it could age up to two years, acquiring proper aroma along the way. When we taste Bovec cheese, we do not only taste its full and gently spicy flavour, but also encounter a more than 500-year old tradition of cheese-making in this region.
Bovec Cheese, or Caseus de Plezio, was first mentioned as a means of payment in the first Tolmin land register that dates back to 1377. Bovec Cheese as a name was first recorded on a price list in the Italian town of Udine in 1756, while the Alpine dairy farming in this area boasts a rich heritage from the 15th Century. As can be inferred from the price list, Bovec Cheese had a significantly higher price than other cheese types. Bovec cheese-making culture is unique to the Slovenian Alps. It is the only area in Slovenia where sheep breeding is intended exclusively for cheese-making, as full-fat-hard sheep’s cheese is produced in this region only.
Production of Bovec cheese, in general does not differentiate itself from the usual hard cheese-making process. However, quality milk is a precondition and according to the acquired EU protection label, the production of fodder, milk processing and all technological processes must be conducted within the Bovec area. Only cheese produced according to the approved specifications and in line with all regulations can be called “Bovec Cheese” and labelled by the EU-wide “Protected designation of origin”.
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