Kizilova Skin Sac Cave Cheese

Ark of taste
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Centuries ago, the Karakeçili nomads of Central Asia brought a unique cheese called Kızılova obruk cheese to the world using traditional methods in Akdeniz Region of Mersin province, at Mute town of Turkey . This cheese is still being made today and the nomads continue to consume it inside their own pastries, keeping their cultural heritage alive.
What makes this cheese truly special is that the nomads protect their local animal species while making it. These animals feed on endemic plants in the plateaus and their milk is used to make the cheese. This process not only ensures the quality and distinct taste of the cheese, but also helps in preserving the biodiversity of the region. This enduring tradition serves as a reminder of the richness of our cultural history and the importance of protecting it for future generation.

The cheese-making process for Kızılova Karakeçililer Göçerleri cheese begins on May 15 and continues until the end of June. The cheese is made from the milk of goats and sheep fed with endemic plants found on the plateaus. The milk is fermented and heated, then the curd is filtered and purified from water. Rock salt is added, and the cheese is pressed into specially prepared leather bags before being hung and kept in a special cave for three to six months. Once ripe, it is ready to eat.

When we take steps to ensure the sustainability of the cheeses produced in a particular region, we are not just protecting the cheese itself. In fact, we are also safeguarding the way of life of the nomadic people living in that area and the local ecosystem that supports them. This ecosystem includes the animals that provide the milk for the cheese, the grasses on which they graze, and the plateaus that provide them with a home. By working to preserve this delicate balance, we can help to ensure that these communities and their way of life can thrive for generations to come.

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Akdeniz Bölgesi

Production area:Akdeniz Region of Mersin province, at Mute town of Turkey

Other info


Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Yunus Emre / Slow Food Mut