Lamb – is the main dish of Pag
Ratio is: 40 thousand sheep to 8 thousand inhabitants of the island. Maya told us, how poor people of Pag said to their guests: “Sorry, we have almost nothing to share with you, just baked lamb, prosciutto and cheese.” Ironically, by modern standards, because now it is the most expensive products in Croatia.
Pag lamb (paška janjetina) is a roasted delight, usually served with potatoes.
Pag sheep cheese is famous for a specific rich taste, because sheep eat a lot of wild herbs (sage, immortelle, fennel, Cistus).
It is worth more than Parmigiano Reggiano because Pag sheep provide little milk. It is considered to be the best souvenir from Croatia. Delicious.
There are 2 basic dairies (sirana) on the island. You can buy their cheese in the supermarkets of Zagreb.
They have been working for 65 years and that they were who made Pag cheese famous.
There is young and aged the Paški sir cheese.
Young cheese is the cheese that was ripening up to a period of one year, and aged cheese is the cheese that was ripening for longer than a year. Young cheese may be recognized by its mild, salty taste and light color, whereas aged cheese is piquant, hard and of brownish color. Both the young and the aged cheeses are a true gourmet pleasure. The young cheese is best eaten with prosciutto from Dalmatia or spicy dried sausage from Slavonia (kulen), while the aged cheese is best with a glass of good red wine…
The history of Gligora Dairy involves its founder Ivan Gligora and his family. Ivan was born in 1950 in a peasant and poor family in Kolan at the island of Pag. His family house can be seen today next to the Dairy. As early as in 1918, his grandfather Frane (called Franeša) started producing Pag cheese on his own, passing on love for sheep farming and cheese producing to Ivan’s parents, Šimun and Evica. The couple preserved the centuries-old tradition of producing Pag cheese.
If you would like to see for yourself the production and feel the aromas and tastes of the best cheeses made, you can choose Cheese Factory Guided Tour with the following program:
- the story of the Gligora Dairy
- tour of the production facility in the Dairy
- visit to the ripening room in the Dairy cellar
- tasting various Gligora cheeses in the tasting room on the upper floor of the Dairy with a breath-taking view
- watching a multi-language video projection in the tasting room: from pastures to the ripening room
- making a purchase at the Gligora Store next to the Dairy
Pag bashkotin (Paški baškotin) – is UNESCO-protected cookie recipe that is baked in a full silence by nuns of the Benedictine monastery of St. Margarita in the town Pag. They bake it every day for 30 kilograms, more than 300 years.
I do not know how it is in high season, but in early June to buy that cookies was a real quest. Pag is a very small town and has a pointer to the monastery of St. Margaret’s. But just try to find it in the narrow streets. It’s not very big and far notable monastery, but a small, white building church, among the same others. All the doors are locked. If to get the building around and think you can find the door with bell. Ring several times. And almost leave, when an unwelcome, dry nun looks out through the slide in the door and asks sternly: “What do you want?” I said: “A little of Bashkotin please”. She took 15 kunas (= 2 euro), gave a bag in swivel window and disappeared. And here is spoyler. Mysterious bashkotin is a rather tasteless large crumbs. That’s all.
When you come to Pag you see the pools of the “Salt pan of Pag” which stretch across a surface of around 2.5 million square meters. That is why Pag is also often referred to as the town of Salt.
The production of salt in Pag was first mentioned in historical documents in the 9th century, but it is assumed that salt has been produced there for over two thousand years. Salt pools and pans are mentioned in numerous old documents and there is a tower in Pag called Skrivanat tower, which housed the headquarters of a record keeper who noted the amounts of salt exported by ships.
Salt factory in Pag bases its manufacturing on a thousand years old tradition for manufacturing salt. Established in the 16th century, it is the biggest salt factory in the northeastern part of Croatia. Natural advantages are used for manufacturing – Pag has clean environment, a lot of sunny days
and suitable wind – that is why the quality of salt from Pag is among the best in the world (it contains up to 75 minerals and most of them are imperative to human health, that is why the salt from Pag is unavoidable part of every healthy diet).
“A small, luxurious, family run hotel, hidden in a vineyard, is certainly one of the loveliest places to stay and eat on Pag. The restaurant serves all of Pag’s best specialties, prepared in a modern way. They have excellent house wines and olive oil,” commented Nevena Rendeli in her book Guide of a Blonde.
- Adress: Novaljsko polje bb, 53291 Novalja
- Telephone: +385 53 663500
The Northern part of the island Pag, famous for his olive groves and olive oil, is a unique place in Croatia but also in the world. The olive oil from this part of the island is well known since olden times as high-quality. The oil is mentioned by a Roman gourmet Apicius Marcus Gavius from the first century who is considered the author of the world’s first cookbook.
80.000 olive trees grow in the area of 400 hectares. Among them there are around 1.500 trees of Oblica, grafted on a wild evergreen olive Olea Oleaster, that is as a forest species of the Mediterranean now extremely rare.
Every olive tree is unique. Merged with harsh bare stones and shaped by the wind, they form amazing shapes and artwork.
Today, most of the attention directed towards the olive grove which is the size of 60 ha, located on the southwest part of the Lun peninsula, near the village Lun. This olive grove is a rarity not only of Island the Pag and Croatia but the entire Mediterranean. It is unique in the world because of its thousand-year-old trees, which can not boast famous olive groves in Israel and Greece.
The study of the samples of tree trunks of olive trees confirmed that the Lun olive trees are one of the oldest in the world. The oldest olive tree in Lun is about 1.600 years old but according to new research, even 2.000 years old and more than a hundred trees are estimated to be a 1.000 years old.