20 April 2015

The cave of delights

Dario Zidarič and his cheese

(Foto di copertina di Caspar Diederik)

When I’m in the city centre of Trieste I stop to eat in a bar where they serve fresh and particular lunches. One day I tried the Caesar Salad with Jamar and it was incredible! An explosion of flavour that would delight anyone. What is Jamar? I asked the same question… the word Jamar comes from the Slovenian word that means “he who explores”. It is a cheese with a very intense smell – of earth and mould – that is enclosed in a dark, slightly rough rind.

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This type of cheese has been aged in a 70-meter deep cave with a 12 degree Celsius temperature and a stable humidity of 90%. Every cheese wheel in wrapped in a net and hung from a wooden pole. How did I find out all this? I talked to Dario Zidarič, that with his wife Sandra make these delicacies in a farm in Prepotto (Trieste).

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(Foto di Caspar Diederik)

Pushed by curiosity, I decided to pay a visit to Sandra and Dario at their farm, not far from the border with Slovenia. There I found about 100 young cows, fed on hay from the Carso, a fauna that has over 1.600 forage essences.

As well as caring for their nutrition, Dario is very careful during the milking; he developed an automatic station, active day and night. After a 2 day training the animal visits the station whenever it feels the need to be milked. Once the milk has been collected, it’s not pasteurized, so it maintains it’s natural bacteria to which they only add home made enzymes.

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Zidarič doesn’t only make Jamar, but also Zafran cheese, a type of strong cream cheese, and 3 types of caciotta cheese: a white one made only with milk, one flavoured with santoreggia (a plant that grown naturally on the Carso) and the last is flavoured with wild fennel. They also have Tabor and Mlet cheeses, ricotta and a fantastic yogurt! They have something for everyone’s taste!

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Zidarič is the perfect place for cheese lovers and nature enthusiasts. Joseph, a centre for the development and advertisement of the Carso organizes tours that take you to this wonderful place (http://joseph.land/eventi-sul-carso/il-formaggio-zidaric-a-prepotto/). Are you ready to start? You’re in for a special treat!

Ps. If you're just curious ... from minute 2:45 , you will see Dario Zidarič, will tell you personally that his passion !

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