Škripavac

Milk and milk products - Croatia

Škripavac is a fresh, soft cheese made of raw milk that is best when consumed within two or three days of production, but can also be left to mature. The name of the cheese is a variation of the Croatian word for 'squeaky,' because when chewing on the fresh škripavac cheese it makes a distinct sound. Škripavac is made with milk from the Busha (Buša) cow, a small, hardy indigenous breed of cattle well suited to the environment of the Dalmatinska, Zagora and Lika regions. This breed produces a high quality milk with a high percentage of fat. However, because of this breed's small frame and specific nature, production is limited and seasonal. Only about 100 individual cheeses are produced per year. To make the cheese, milk is used immediately after milking. It is warmed to 37°C and a natural rennet is added. It can be eaten as soon as one day later. Due to its simple production, this cheese was commonly made among pastors in Šestanovac, in Split-Dalmatia county, for generations. The cheese it not found for sale, but is produced for consumption within the town of Šestanovac. This cheese is rare and facing extinction because the cattle breed that makes it unique, the Busha, is raised in very low numbers. Without the Busha, there would be no Škripavac. There is currently one producer in the area working on the preservation of this cattle's genetic material.