Džiugas 1924 is the name behind an outstanding cheese which was launched to retailers at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in September. Although Džiugas has recently won several accolades from the 2013 International Cheese Awards (ICS, Nantwich, England), it has not been widely available to retailers before now.
Džiugas is a distinctive pressed cheese available in maturity from 12 month ‘mild’, 18 month ‘piquant’, 24 month ‘delicate’, 36 month ‘gourmet’ or 48 month ‘luxurious’. In terms of flavour, Džiugas is distinctly continental in style with rich, slightly fruity but warm overtones and a nutty aroma – it delivers a satisfyingly long taste in the mouth. This taste increases in fruity spiciness at each stage of maturity, delivering increasingly complex layers of flavour – all of which are distinguishable but stay true to the original Džiugas signature. Along the maturation journey, Džiugas changes from a creamily sweet youngster into a mature cheese with salty fruitiness and crystalline texture that provides a real crunch in the mouth. While a 12 month old Džiugas might be sliced, the 48 month old is ideally broken in to bite sized chunks which are ideal for making a gourmet snack as well as gracing a cheeseboard.
For cheese retailers, Džiugas provides the opportunity to pique cheese lovers’ interest. It is after all, from Lithuania, a country with the ideal climate for growing the lush sweet grass that creates the rich milk that delights cheese makers. It is also an historical cheese, with nearly a century to its name. Džiugas cheesemongers claim that the habit of eating cheese and honey relates to Lithuanians’ longstanding preference for this combination. But most of all, it is the discernibly unique flavour of Džiugas cheese that will recommend it to retailers.
The cheesemakers claim it is golden in colour and golden on the tongue – making it of extra special value to cheese lovers. It certainly deserves a place on British cheese boards.
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