Croatia’s Ministry of Agriculture has issued a Decision on transitional national protection of “Istrian sheep cheese”(Istarski ovčji sir) as a protected designation of origin.
The protection of the name “Istrian sheep cheese” is a joint project of Croatian and Slovenian producers of this product, so the protection process is carried out in parallel in Croatia and Slovenia, the Ministry said in a statement.
In Croatia, the request for protection of the name “Istrian sheep cheese”/ “Istarski ovčji sir” was submitted to the Ministry by the Association of Istrian Goat and Sheep Producers from Vodnjan.
Following the transitional national protection in both Member States, Croatia and Slovenia will send a joint application to the European Commission for registration of the name “Istrian sheep cheese” / “Istarski ovčji sir” as protected designations of origin at EU level.
“Istrian sheep cheese”is a hard, full-fat cheese obtained by coagulation of raw or pasteurised sheep’s milk using rennet with the separation of whey.
Milk for the production of “Istrian sheep cheese” is obtained from sheep bred exclusively in Istria, including the Croatian and Slovenian part of Istria.
This cheese has been an indisputable component of traditional agricultural production and traditional nutrition in Istria for thousands of years. The tradition of producing Istrian sheep cheese has survived in Istria for centuries despite social movements, war conflicts, depopulation and declining sheep numbers, the Ministry added.
Due to its exceptional quality, since the second half of the twentieth century Istrian sheep cheese has been established as a trademark of Istria’s tourist and catering offer, and in addition to traditional food is increasingly present in modern gastronomy. as a unique high-quality gourmet delight.