Pule Cheese, made from the milk of the domesticated Balkan Donkeys (descendents of the African donkey as opposed to the Asian donkey, which cannot be domesticated), has supplanted Moose Milk Cheese(ever thought about milking a moose…) as the most expensive cheese in the world. This herd of donkeys  that live on the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve north of the Serbian capital of Belgrade numbers about one hundred.

It takes 25 liters of milk from this ass to make 1 liter of the cheese and the milk costs $40 (Euro) which comes out to $1000 (Euro) per kilogram. In the US that comes out to $1350 (US) per kilo. A kilo equals 2.2 pounds making this cheese about $614 (US) per pound. According to the Nature Reserve, nothing special other than the milk contributes to the cost of the cheese.

Now that’s a specialty cheese.

It’s smoked which will probably interest The Man’s BFF, Gary who “brakes for smoked cheese”, but you must place an advance order to get this cheese. Since it hit the market at a recent European Tourism Trade Show, only a half kilogram has been ordered. Now that’s a surprise…

Because of the lackluster interest in this cheese, the resourceful folks at the Reserve have decided to branch out and make cosmetic creams, soaps and even a type of liqueur from the milk.

BTW, Moose milk cheese only costs about $300 (US) per pound – a bargain compared with Pule Cheese.

Bit of trivia: In the regions of South Africa and Mesopotamia donkeys have been worshipped as deities.

Serving Suggestions: What do you pair with donkey cheese??? How about Rocky Mountain Oysters?

Pairings: Pair it with that fancy liqueur also made at the Reserve.