OPG Zubović - the cheese tradition of Kolan
There are the Zubović Courts in Kolan, which is enough to tell about the tradition of this family whose noble coat of arms names 1871 as its founding year. Today's Zubovićs are also known by OPG Franjo Zubović, who owns a mini Pag cheese dairy. We visited them just at the time when Mrs Sanja Zubović had been preparing a curd, and her husband Franjo had just sliced the cheese.
Their 95 sheep give two tons of cheese a year, each having at least two kilos. In this family dairy about a hundred litres of milk, a day is made, which is then used for the traditional way of making Pag cheese. Once, in the 19th century, each family received a label for cheese, to determine which family owns each of the rolls produced. The Zubović family were given the mark III / 61, where Roman number III signifies the territory of Kolan, and the 61 is a family. The Zubović label has been proudly used today to mark every piece of cheese.
We pass through rooms with less and more moisture where at least two months cheese ripens. Both spouses have completed a course for cheese and dairy, and they are perfecting every year, and the evidence is more than visible: gold and champion plaques for Pag cheese are proudly presented. Once the family also had a vineyard, but cheese making takes all day. Sheep are milked twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, and with the support of the older generations of Zubović they have had ram records since the 1980s so that there would not be too many family links between the sheep.
Characteristic pasture starts right at the time we found ourselves in this dairy. The sheep go to the green pastures in April and remain on it by the end of June, and then remain there without milk production until the end of the year. Only in the first three months, the sheep can get hay. In January and February, Zubović family also sells young lamb, which is sold at the speed of light, and the placement of cheeses is not difficult as the demand in the Dalmatian restaurants for this product of the island of Pag is exceptional. A good part of cheese also ends up on Zubović's table as these cheesemakers love their product and often consume it.
While we are talking, we try young cheese that has not yet developed its pleasant spicy taste and smell but is milder and more aromatic since sheep roam on karst landscapes that abound in various kinds of aromatic and medicinal herbs, with a characteristic pinch of sea salt brought by bora.
OPG Franjo Zubović
Zubovićevi dvori 4, 23251 Kolan, island of Pag
+385 98 449 838, +385 99 233 7023