Söğle Cheese

Ark of taste
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Söğle Cheese is a traditional product produced from goat or sheep milk in Söğle Village in Antalya, Elmali of Turkey. The cheese prepared by the wives of 30-40 shepherds in the neighbouring villages is filled into goatskin casings, which are then left in the pits that date back hundreds of years. These pits belong to 5-6 owners who inherited them from their grandparents. Pit owners do not charge any fee to the people keeping their cheese-filled goatskin casings in the pits. The depth of each pit varies between 10-15 meters. Each pit can accommodate 40-50 casings, and each casing can contain 80-100 kg of cheese, depending on the size of the goat from which it was obtained. The owner of each cheese puts a mark on his/her casing so that they know which casing belongs to whom. The casings placed into the pit in June are withdrawn between the end of September and November 15. An announcement is made from the mosque to inform people that the pits will be opened so that they head for the pits and take their cheese casings back. It is using and sold only in Elmali, Finike, Kumluca and the villages around Elmali. Because it is a type of cheese that is not known well and not readily available in the market yet. Since the pits in which cheese casings are kept date back hundreds of years and this cheesemaking technique is a part of Yoruk culture, it is not produced or available anywhere outside Elmali. Amount of production is low, as it is produced using a traditional and toilsome method. If any order is placed, producers can send their cheese to other cities as well. There are 6-7 pit owners. Annual amount of production is 10-12 tons. Local communities are eaten as it is, as meze.

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Akdeniz Bölgesi

Production area:Söğle villlage in Elmali, Antalya

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Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Ezgi Bağlan