Photo: Marco Raaphorst/Flickr
The Wimbledon champion and world number one player who is passionate about his Serbian homeland where the cheese is made said he wanted to make sure he secured enough to supply a new chain of restaurants that he is opening in the country.The cheese when it was unveiled earlier in the year joined the burger that costs £3,000 from a restaurant in Las Vegas and a £700 caviar-coated omelette at a plush New York hotel as being one of the world’s most expensive foods.
But unlike the posh US producers of the other foods the cheese now snapped up by the tennis ace is made on a donkey farm in Serbia, in Zasavica, that also provides the name of the company.
Slobodan Simic, the manager at Zasavica, said the secret of the cheese’s great taste was the fact that it was produced from milk taken from donkey’s raised on one of Serbia’s most famous wildlife and nature reserves.
The cheese, known as pule, is made only from donkeys and it takes 25 litres of fresh donkey milk to make a single kilogram.
The white, crumbly cheese has been described as similar to Spanish Manchego cheese, but with a deeper, richer taste.
The reserve also produces bottled donkeys’ milk, which is said to have been a beauty secret of Cleopatra.
The legendary Egyptian queen was famously said to have bathed daily in asses’ milk, and the Serbian company offers a soap bar made from donkey milk for those who can’t afford a bath of the stuff.
Other expensive cheeses include a Swedish moose cheese which costs around £630 per kilogram, and Caciocavallo Podolico, a cheese produced from the milk of a rare Italian breed of cow that only produces milk during May and June.
Simic said they agreed to the sale because the tennis ace was a great ambassador for their product.
He said: “It will save a lot of effort having to deal with various restaurants, with only one customer buying the lot we don’t have to worry too much about salesmen.
“It is a great vote of confidence as well in what we do here.”
The Zasavica farm is the only place in the world where donkeys are milked for cheese.
Donkey milk is said to be very healthy for humans as it has anti-allergen properties, contains only one per cent milk fat, and is drunk only fresh because precious ingredients get lost if boiled.
One of these is vitamin C, which is present in donkey milk in 60 times larger quantities compared to cows’ milk.
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