We are a cheese loving family but Džiugas cheese, in spite of a visit to Lithuania, was new to us. Džiugas cheese does indeed come from Lithuania; made from milk produced by cows that have grazed on grass in a national park.
A cheese with a legend
There is a legend associated with the cheese. It goes something along the lines of – Once upon a time [but we feel it must be true as his picture appears on the packaging], there was a giant called Džiugas who made the cheese to celebrate his marriage. He gifted it to the villagers in his wife’s honour with the promise that whoever ate it would have strength and joy.
A nutty/fruity/savoury taste
It was certainly thumbs up from us; we all liked this parmesan-type cheese. We had the mild 12 month matured variety (you can also buy it in piquant, delicate and gourmet varieties). It definitely had that almost nutty/fruity/savoury taste that we associate with parmesan, as well as those crunchy little granules that burst into life on the tongue.
The packaging informs us that the cheese contains no preservatives, is suitable for vegetarians and is also a source of calcium and proteins, and is lactose free – the latter much to the delight of one of our dairy-intolerant friends.
A versatile cheese
We certainly enjoyed it. Our lunch is often crackers, cheese and fruit and we found that eating chunks of Džiugas went wonderfully with the fruit. It would certainly make a great addition to a cheese board, or grated over vegetables, pasta or whatever you prefer.
However, you can also buy it ready grated in useful re-sealable bags. It proved a handy addition for our quick omelettes or pasta supper s. No grated fingers for us! The 100g bags range in price from £1.50 to £2 depending on promotions.
Next visit to our nearest big Sainsbury’s which has an ethnic food chiller we shall stock up, not only with the 12 month matured Džiugas, but with the others too. dziugashouse.lt/en