Pig’s meat is undoubtedly delicious, but I’m not so sure you could say the same about its milk. Nevertheless, a family-run farm in the Netherlands has produced the world’s first cheese made from pig milk. They’re selling it at a whopping £1,500 ($2,300) per kilogram – more expensive than the former world’s costliest cheese, made from Balkan donkey milk!
Erik Stenink, free-range pig farmer and owner of ‘Piggy’s Palace’ is the brains behind pig milk cheese. He decided to do it because mainly because he was curious to see if it would work, given that pig’s milk is richer in protein than cow’s milk. But milking pigs is quite a labor intensive process, so he only managed to produce half a kilo of the “chalky” cheese. A bit of it was sold to an anonymous buyer last week, and the proceeds were donated to a children’s cancer charity.
“It’s a product which has never been made before and a lot of people are very interested in it,” Erik said. “We’ve only just recently tried to milk the sows. We’re very happy with it all and although for us it’s a one-time thing, if someone wants to give us £1,500 we’ll make a kilo, but it’s too intensive to make without an order.”
Photo: Piggy’s Palace/Facebook
Erik said that the first attempt at making pig’s cheese was a failure. “Our local cheese maker who was helping us didn’t really know how to go about doing it and we spent a lot of hours on it,” he said. “Pigs produce less milk in comparison to cows: every two hours they release the milk for about 30 seconds so you have to be quick. Four of us were at it with coffee cups, and per time you get only about 100ml. If you want to collect ten liters – which is needed for about two pounds of cheese – you’re busy for at least 40 hours.”
“It didn’t really work the first time and because of how long we’d spent on it the second time we tried we said would be the last time,” he added. So the second time, they created a blend of two liters of pig’s milk and eight liters of cow’s milk. “Thankfully it worked and we managed to make about half a kilo of pig’s cheese. We’ve kept about 250g for the team members at Piggy’s Palace and for visitors to taste.”
Photo: Piggy’s Palace/Facebook
“There was one man, from the best-selling cheese shop in the Netherlands, he tasted it,” Erik said. “It’s chalky, a bit salty, it’s a bit rough as a home made cheese and is a little bit milky, which is how he described it. We think it’s quite unique.”
“If you taste it with your eyes closed, there are distinct differences with semi-matured cheese. We think it’s a bit saltier and creamier. It dissipates quickly on your tongue and it’s grainier,” he added. “We don’t think it’ll be a big hit, but you never know. I consider it to be nothing more than a whimsical product.”
Piggy’s Palace is a family farm and a visitor attraction that prides on raising happy, comfortable pigs. The 22 swines and their piglets are truly spoiled with plenty of muck and a play area with a slide and a trampoline. About 2,000 people visit the place each year, but more tourists are expected to arrive in the future to sample the pig’s cheese themselves!
via VICE Munchies