Smilyan kingdom of cheese

23.06.2008 14:06:06

Author: Lubomir Boyadjiev


Смилянското царство на сирената

When talking of tasty places in authentic atmosphere, Milk House complex is one that is a must visit …

All have heard of the famous Smilyan kidney beans, with the name of which abuses are done in many places in Bulgaria, and this already alludes to the attitude towards the delicious things in this part of the Rhodope region. Not to mention that Smiyan has a museum of beans … But what we found in the Milk House Complex, however, surpassed our expectations.

To my knowledge Smilyan “Milk House” is the only hotel with its own dairy farm. For many people this place is also known by the name of one of the co-owners – Milkana that warmly welcomes guests and predisposes them to feel warm. Next to the very small hotel (because really it is a guest house) is located the Rhodopa Milk Dairy which makes incredibly delicious traditional Bulgarian cheeses and yellow cheeses, many of which are by licensed foreign technology – Pparmesan,  Tilzit, Gouda, Edam, Gruyere, Kefalotiri, Pecorino … There is nothing strange, because the dairy was built with funds from the Swiss government. The combination of money from Switzerland to the Bulgarian labor and desire has given really great results. The chief technologist Veneta can tell fascinating hours for the dairy and making cheese.

The production of “Rodopa Milk” is designed for the Bulgarian market as limited quanted of milk is processed – about 2.5 tons per day. The entire amount is collected from the central Rhodope region, within a radius of 50 km. “During the summer prevails Bulgarian kashkaval production because the acidity of the milk is higher, and kashkaval requires more mature milk. In winter, when milk is not so live, says Veneta, we produce more the foreign cheeses. In their production we add more different cultures to form a fragrance and flavor of the cheese. “From early May to late August of honor is sheep’s milk, from which traditional local cheese called “beaten” is made. The interesting thing about it is that it is made from sheep’s milk and curd. It is generally prepared as a yellow cheese, but is mixed with the curd. “Once it was  stored in sheep’s skin bags and so has dured from one to another season,” tell the hosts from the Milk House complex.

Surely we are not the only ones curious about foreign cheeses produced in the dairy. “Swiss technologists regularly monitor our production and even recognize that our cheeses are richer in taste because of rich grass compond,” explained Veneta.

Interestingly, the first appears the dairy in 1994, and the guest house six years later in 2000. Come to think there is nothing more natural than that because it would be a sin if people they could not touch on the production site and to taste the true cheese amid the Rhodope slopes that surrounding the Milk House complex. Incidentally, when we sat down at the table under the awning of the old dairy farm, I found I had forgotten the true taste of kashkaval and cheese … And I had never thought how diverse can be a menu, based on milk and on dairy products.

Even before they settled around the table, however, the old master in the dairy, bai Valentine, has prepared for the upcoming culinary experience, and rolled in front of us, literally, a local specialty “syundyurme.” Corn flour and water are stirred on the stove, adding cheese. Extremely simple dish reminiscent of hominy, which, however, has its own flavor. Of course, the most important thing are the products and here the quality is superb. We were convinced in it while enjoying and “baked cheese.” Different types of cheeses are grated, mixed with eggs and milk and bake it all. Surely, the taste will be the same if you prepare it at home, because here you have the cheese flavor and the eggs have deep yellow color … In fact, the products are very important thing, but all people from the Milk House contribute to the pleasant atmosphere. We promised that we will come again, but for longer.

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