9 Popular Macedonian Cheeses

9 Popular Macedonian Cheeses

One of the things that come to mind first when people think about Macedonia as a vacation destination is the country’s delectable cuisine. This very tiny nation in the Balkans is home to an astoundingly wide variety of mouthwatering cuisine, including meat, vegan, and fish fare, as well as sweets and cheese.

Cheese is highly prized in Macedonia, and the country produces a wide variety of its own cheese. Traditional Macedonian cow’s and sheep’s cheese are the two most frequent varieties, but there is also goat’s cheese, which some people believe to be of superior quality to cow’s or sheep’s cheese. Whether or not goat’s cheese is preferred is a question of personal preference.

When you sit down to have a meal in Macedonia, regardless of whether you are at a friend’s house or at a local restaurant, you will almost certainly be presented with a selection of cheeses to choose from.

The following is a list of the nine varieties of cheese that are most often consumed in Macedonia.

1. Macedonian Cow’s Cheese

This kind of cheese is the most frequent and fundamental one found in Macedonia. The majority of people love eating it, thus it must be good. It’s a regular old white cheese, and it has a saltiness and calorie content that are around average. This fresh white cheese has a structure that may be described as semi-soft. It is somewhat comparable to the Manouri cheese that is made in Greece.

This cheese may be found in both a softer and a more firm kind, and the amount of salt in each varies depending on the producer. Despite this, it has a terrific flavour and never fails to satisfy. In addition to being eaten with bread and pastries, it may also be used as an ingredient in dishes, salads, and other similar foods. Be sure to pick up some local farmer’s cheese if you come across any local farmers who are selling it straight from their farms. You won’t regret it. Even medical professionals endorse this cheese as a nutrient-dense meal that is beneficial to one’s overall health.

In addition, if you can get your hands on some freshly made bread and ajvar and eat them with this cheese, your taste buds will be thankful to you for the rest of their lives.

2. Macedonian Sheep’s Cheese

This cheese is produced from sheep’s milk, as the name of the product suggests; nonetheless, in terms of its content and nutrition, it is very comparable to cow’s milk cheese. The only difference is that it has a flavour that is somewhat more bitter and a fragrance that is much stronger. It pairs well with the well-known ajvar from Macedonia.

3. Urda

Cottage cheese is referred to as urda in Macedonian culture. Because it is the cheese that is used in the manufacturing of pastries the most often, you won’t be able to taste its absence while consuming a variety of dishes. The well-known Macedonian cheese burek makes use of this ingredient.

However, this specific kind of cheese is also employed in the preparation of a great deal of other popular cuisines, including principal courses such as pasta and roasted vegetables. In addition to that, you’ll find it in a good number of Macedonian salads and meat dishes, as well as in various sweets.

This cheese is loved by all people since it is inexpensive while having a high protein content.

4. Kajmak

Cheese known as kajmak (sometimes spelled kaymak) is justifiably regarded as one of the most beneficial and nutrient-dense kinds of dairy food. In common use, the word “kajmak” refers to anything that is of the highest quality and value. It is created from the crust that forms on the milk after it has been cooked and allowed to cool.

The youngest children in the family get kajmak first in accordance with Macedonian custom in order to fortify their bodies, and the remainder of the dish is consumed by the adults. It’s impossible to adequately describe the flavour of kajmak without firsthand experience. It is delicious when paired with a helping of kebab.

5. Shar: Mountain Cheese

The name of the peak, Shar-Mountain, indicates that it is the sole location in Macedonia where it is produced. Milk from domesticated animals that have been fed the native flora of this mountain is used to produce it.

This cheese is a kind of cow’s cheese, but it is distinguished from others of its kind by having a higher density, greater hardness, and a flavour and aroma that are wholly original and cannot be replicated in a laboratory setting. The fact that a particular kind of parsley is mixed in with the production of this cheese is what makes it such an intriguing product. The Shar-Mountain burger, which is a large beef patty topped with infused cheese, is food that pairs very well with this one. It is delicious, just as its name suggests.

6. Bieno (Beaten) Cheese

The Galicnik area of Macedonia is primarily responsible for the production of one more highly well-known cheese. It has great notoriety and is regarded as a cheese of quite a good grade. It is more dense and brittle than other cheeses, and the inside is dotted with distinctive holes. Additionally, of all cheeses, it has the most salinity. This cheese is an essential component of every wine or rakija tasting experience.

7. Kashkaval

In addition to the production and consumption of white cheeses, Macedonia has a long-standing history of making and consuming a variety of yellow cheeses. The most well-known kind of yellow cheese is called kashkaval.

There are several distinct varieties of kashkaval, each of which is distinguished from the others by factors such as animal origin (cow, sheep, or goat), level of firmness (softer or tougher), and moisture content (wet or dry). Their primary use is in the creation of sandwiches and burgers. Imagine cheddar cheese, but with a deeper flavour that doesn’t taste at all like anything that could possibly be fake.

8. Zholto (Yellow) Cheese

Yellow is translated as zholto in Macedonian. The manufacturing method, which, in contrast to that used to make white cheese, is more akin to that used to make kashkaval cheese, results in the cheese having a faint yellowish hue. Because this cheese is a form of hybrid of kashkaval and bieno cheese, some people get the two cheeses confused with one another.

It is a little bit saltier than other cheeses and has the same degree of hardness and firmness as bieno cheese. Yellow cheese is the best option regardless of whether you are trying to select between being and kashkaval.

9. Goat’s Cheese

It is speculated that the higher social status and superior flavour of goat’s cheese contribute to its much higher price in the Macedonian markets. It is true that, in comparison to other cheeses, it is more difficult to work with and has a wonderful, robust consistency. But the underlying reason for the increased price is that there aren’t very many goats in Macedonia. This scarcity is what drives up the demand.

This cheese also has a flavour that is described as being rich and juicy, particularly when it is fried or grilled.

A Few Parting Thoughts

Cheese is one of the many culinary delicacies that Macedonia is known for, and the country offers a diverse range of options. Be sure to try out some of the hundreds of different types, all of which are better tasting than the ones that came before them.

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