A particular kind of cave-aged cheese in Turkey has set its sights on turning into a rival to France’s famed salty blue cheese, Roquefort.
At the foot of the Taurus Mountains in the central Anatolian province of Karaman, the villagers of Divle (also called Üçharman) and eight different close by cities have rolled up their sleeves to start a six-month, tiring but rewarding journey to provide the area’s famed dairy product: Divle Cave cheese. With the arrival of April and May begins the milking of goats and Akkaraman and Morkaraman sheep who graze on the golden pastures of the province.
Sheltered from the scorching summer time warmth in the barren lands of Anatolia, the goat and sheep milk collected by locals first is left to relaxation, with the curds that kind heated after which pressed and hung up in fabric to eliminate the extra water. A day later, the cheese is able to be reduce, washed and salted, and be carried to its remaining place of resting the place it will get its personal distinctive taste.
Fermenting in specifically sewn sacks of sheep and goat skins referred to as tulum, the cheese daily takes in its aroma from the microflora inside the cave, ultimately producing one thing much like Roquefort – tangy, crumbly and moist, with every batch having its personal earthy notes or hints of pasture grass.
Stuffed inside these sacks as true to Anatolian custom, the cheese rests inside the cool, slim cave 36 meters (118 toes) underground that stretches 256 meters, slowly turning a purplish or reddish shade from its preliminary white, as mildew covers the containers.
With a median temperature of seven levels Celcius (44.6 levels Fahrenheit) all through summer time and winter with 99% humidity, the cave gives the excellent breeding floor for the Penicillium roqueforti strains.
Left to ripen till fall in the darkish, muggy cavity, the cheese sells out tremendous quick as soon as it goes on sale, attracting patrons from throughout the world.
The cave solely has a capability of manufacturing 45 tons of the cheese, so by the 20th day, the total inventory is gone. Each kilogram is offered for TL 120 to TL 150 ($17 to $22).
Like with any widespread product, counterfeits have popped up on the market. Locals warn that the actual Divle Cave cheese has a geolocation mark and barcode that ensures authenticity.
The cheese is taken into account one in all the world’s 5 highest-quality sorts of cheese for its distinctive style and aroma by skilled foodies.