Pule Donkey Cheese – Setting the Record Straight

So what is Donkey cheese? Is it any good?

Donkey cheese is called Pule, which means “foal” in Serbo-Croatian. It was brought to market for the first time in September 2012 at the annual cheese show in Frome, Somerset, England. Pule is the brainchild of Slobodan Simic. He supplies the milk from his donkeys to Stevo Marinkovic, a cheesemaker at Beocapra located in the Republic of Serbia. That is where the Donkey cheese is made.

Pule Donkey Cheese

Pule Donkey Cheese

Donkey cheese is new, rare and expensive. It is even more expensive than Moose cheese. It is the world’s most expensive cheese according to the World Record Academy website. Donkey cheese goes for $576 a pound (wholesale) and up to $2900 a pound (retail).

I first learned of Donkey cheese on Dec 10th when I came across the online article “Novak Djokovic is buying the world’s entire supply of donkey cheese” . I was intrigued.

Who is Novak Djokovic? He is the worlds #1 ATP ranked tennis player. He is … famous.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic – photo from Google Images

The story of Novak buying up all the Donkey cheese was a great story and it quickly went viral around the world. That was a few weeks ago. Now the dust has settled, the excitement has passed and I have gathered the facts about Donkey Cheese.

Does Donkey Cheese really exist? – Yes.

Did Novak Djokovic buy it all? – No. In fact he bought NONE.

It was all hype, according to an article published by New York Times on December 19th. The Serbian producer of the Donkey Cheese had left a sample of his Pule cheese at a restaurant owned by Novak Djokovic in Belgrade. Evidently the message with the cheese sample was … If you want to buy it all, we’ll sell it to you. Through some genius(?) marketing, the proposal was twisted, exagerated and embellished into an international news story that Novak had bought it all. Not so. It was much ado about nothing. It did, however, launch a global awareness of the existence of Donkey Cheese.

Maybe there is some brain enhancing benefit to Donkey cheese. There is some brilliance in a Serbian Donkey farmer figuring out a way to get his cheese story all the way to Canada, in less than 90 days from launch, compliments of free media. If I get the chance, I’ll try the cheese. Maybe I can come up with a brilliant way to get the Serbians to read my blog.

Panda Cheese

I have done posts about cow cheese, sheep cheese, goat cheese, moose cheese and even Beaver cheese. But I had never come across Panda cheese, until today.

Panda Cheese

To find Panda Cheese you have to go to Egypt. Huh … what … say that again?

If you are thinking, hey aren’t Panda bears from China, not Egypt? Well, you are correct. It turns out that Egyptian Panda Cheese is not made from Panda bear milk. It is an Egyptian BRAND of cheese. It is made by Arab Dairy.

The Panda Cheese website is written in some Egyptian hieroglyphics that I don’t understand. But you don’t need to understand the Egyptian language to grasp Arab Dairy’s message – If you pass up Panda Cheese then there is going to be one bad ass Panda bear waiting to mess you up.

It’s an interesting marketing campaign. Believe me, if I come across some Panda Cheese I will definitely try it as opposed to suffering the consequence.

Cheesy Blasters Recipe

If you’ve never tried a cheesy blaster then you are missing out. It’s so simple and delicious!
So here it is cheese fans … the cheesy blasters recipe. Enjoy!

First you take a hotdog,

stuff it with some jack cheese,

fold it in a pizza!

You’ve got cheesy blasters!

Cheesy Super Nice High End Hotels

Do the words “Cheesy”, “High End” and “Hotel” go to together? The answer is yes … they do now.

I came across this article from Forbes Online that piqued my interest.

Cheese Caves Are The Newest Hot Hotel Amenity

Toca's Hotel Cheese Cave at the Ritz Carlton - photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Toronto

Toca’s Hotel Cheese Cave at the Ritz Carlton – photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Toronto

In summary of the article – The latest trend of the high end hotel chains is to provide cheese rooms for guests to enjoy.

Since I am a bit of a cheese lover myself, I have to say, this is awesome! I’m hoping that this trend gains momentum until every hotel has cheesy room service.

Beaver Cheese

For the past year I have been on the lookout for Beaver cheese. I have had no luck finding any yet. In Canada we have BeaverTails, a fried dough pastry that is flattened to look like a Beaver’s tail. BeaverTails are typically topped with sugar, cinnamon or other goodies.

Canadian Beavertail

Canadian Beavertail - photo by Henry Ko (Flikr)

My internet searches have led me to Venezuelan Beaver Cheese, a fictitious cheese mentioned in a Monty Python Comedy sketch. Unfortunately the cheese shop in the sketch did not carry it.

In case you were wondering … the cheeses listed in the Monty Python cheese shop sketch are:

Bel Paese
Boursin
Bresse-Bleu
Brie
Caerphilly
Caithness
Camembert
Carré de l’Est
Czechoslovakian sheep’s milk
Cheddar
Cheshire
Danish Blue
Dorset Blue Vinney
Double Gloucester
Edam
Emmental
Gorgonzola
Gouda
Greek Feta
Gruyère
Ilchester
Lancashire
Limburger
Liptauer
Mozzarella
Norwegian Jarlsberg
Parmesan
Pipo Crème
Pont l’Evêque
Port Salut
Red Leicester
Red Windsor
Roquefort
Sage Derby
Saint-Paulin
Savoyard
Smoked Austrian
Stilton
Tilsit
Venezuelan Beaver Cheese (fictional)
Wensleydale
White Stilton

With all of the clever marketing by cheese companies these days, I am surprised that nobody has applied the name “Beaver Cheese” to a product yet. It’s probably just a matter of time.

If you are reading this post and know where I can find some Canadian Beaver Cheese please let me know.

I Like Mature Cheese but this is Ridiculous

In my quest for cheese knowledge I was researching “Mature Cheese” when I discovered this archived news story.

1,400 year old cheese article

Normally, I would file such information away for future reference. However, this discovery put my head into a spin. I’ve had cheese go ugly in my refrigerator in just a few weeks. Evidently storing cheese in a bog is a much better method. Are you impressed by 3 year old cheddar? Be impressed no longer … because relative to a 1,400 year old cheese, three years is a blink of an eye.

The most fascinating concept about this story was that after pulling the cheese out of an ancient bog, carefully examining it, somebody actually decided to eat it. I am cheese adventurous but I have my limits.

credit: The news story is from the Sydney Morning Herald July 3, 1987.

Is your Cheese Tessellated?

Are you wondering what the heck is tessellated cheese?

I was wondering the same thing after some web surfing led me to people recommending tessellating the cheese on their sandwiches. The general opinion is that tessellated cheese is much better than non-tessellated cheese. I have a pretty complete arsenal of kitchen gadgets but I don’t have a cheese tessellator. I put the power of Google to work and found my way to a web page that provided answers – lefthandedtoons.

Tesselllating is arranging the cheese in a pattern that provides optimum sandwich coverage and minimizes cheese overlap. It makes sense. No special kitchen gadget needed, but rather the knowledge of technique.

Further research revealed that Subway restaurants, a popular sandwich franchise in Canada and USA, had not been tessellating the cheese on their subs, to the dissatisfaction of some customers. The lefthandedtoons website features an open letter to Subway addressing the error of their ways. I’m not sure if this is an urban myth, but it seems that Subway did change their cheese arrangement practices sometime after lefthandedtoons published their request for cheese optimization.

On a recent trip to my local Canadian Subway sandwich shop I payed close attention to the cheese placement. Indeed, my sandwich contained tessellated cheese!

Make the world a better place and practice cheese tessellation whenever possible!

A Completely Cheesy Restaurant – L’Art du Fromage

L'Art du Fromage - Cheese Restaurant

L'Art du Fromage - Cheese Gourmet Restaurant - London, England

L’Art du Fromage is a Cheese Gourmet Restaurant in London (England). Beyond offering amazing cheese boards, they have created appetizers, entrees and desserts all featuring and showcasing cheese.

Just image a meal, beginning to end, with cheese featured at every course. I think this is a very cool idea. This may be the only such restaurant in the world. I am not aware of any restaurants in Canada doing this.

L'Art du Fromage Restaurant Menu

L'Art du Fromage Restaurant Menu

Some menu examples are:

Appetizers

Brie de Meaux pané – Brie de Meaux cheese coated with breadcrumbs, served on a red fruit coulis, with lamb’s lettuce, confit shallots and pine nuts salad.

Salade au Chèvre Chaud
Roquette and Smoked Salmon salad topped with a Goat cheese & Piment d’Espelette toast

Entrees

Tartiflette Savoyarde
Traditional dish based on a combination of potatoes, cream, onion, sliced ham and Reblochon cheese. Served with salad.

Fondue Savoyarde
Emmental, Comte and Beaufort fondue flambéed in Kirsc

Cheese Boards

L’Epicurien
A selection of up to 15 cheeses in order to discover the 7 different cheese familie

Dessert

Moelleux au chocolat noir
Black chocolate fondant served with a soft white cheese ice cream

Imagine … they even serve cheese ice cream. I didn’t even know there was such a thing.

I’ve never been to London, England, but if I ever get the chance to go I am going to have to eat at L’Art du Fromage. If anybody is aware of a similarly themed restaurant in Canada please add a comment to this post.

Credits: Pictures from L’Art du Fromage website.

Cheesy Bicycles

I was doing some web surfing when I came across a cheese bike. Cheese and bikes are two of my favourite things.  They balance each other out. Eat some cheese, ride a bike to burn a few calories, eat more cheese, ride more bike … you get the idea. However, this integration of cheese and bikes struck me as interesting so I thought I would share.

Cheese Bike

Cheese Bike

That is one long bike. I can’t quite make out what cheese is being carried on this cargo bike.  It might be Beemster. Here are a several more cheese bike pictures I found.

Cheese Bike

Cheese Bike

Swiss cheese bike

Swiss cheese bike

Cheese Delivery Bike

Cheese Delivery Bike

Beemster Bike

Beemster Bike

A google search for cheese bikes does not yield many pertinent images. I guess cheese bikes are somewhat rare. I have never seen a cheese bike in Canada.  Most of the cheese bike images originated from Amsterdam where both cheese and biking are very popular. I feel the sudden urge to travel to Amsterdam!

If you come across a cheese bike, take a picture and let me know. Why? … Why not?