Sombor Cheese in wooden vat from Stapar is one of the most renowned food products from this part of Vojvodina due to long tradition, favorable climatic conditions and quality meadows.
The production of Sombor Cheese is a result of a long-term experience, favourable climatic conditions and quality grazing areas. Sombor Cheese is soft, fatty, yellowish-white, with a few holes of the size of lentils or corn grain. In the past, Sombor Cheese was made only from ewe's milk, today being a mixture of cow's and ewe's milk, whose technology is kept as a secret. Housewives would not tell the secret of Sombor Cheese preparation to their daughters because they would get married and take the secret with them out of their homes, but they would tell it to their daughters-in-law to keep the secret within the family. In the 19th century, Sombor tradesmen took Sombor Cheese to green markets of all big cities of Austrian and Hungarian Empire and it was eaten even in Viennese court. During the 1940s, the production started to slowly die out, so it completely vanished from the region of Serbia by the end of the 20th century. During 1970s, this cheese was still sold in green markets in Novi Sad. The study of the history of Sombor Cheese shows that the first data on the appearance of Sombor Cheese in the green market can be found on the list of Novi Sad green market in 1748, when green market fee for one small wooden cheese vat was three money tokens.
The cheese producers
Sombor Cheese is the only recognized cheese by World Dairy Organization as autochthonous cheese from the region of former Yugoslavia, and its production has recently started again. It is a valuable source of information about a long-lasting cheese production tradition in Serbia. National importance
The production of Sombor Cheese, adapted to industrial technology, started in 1949 in 'Somboled' Dairy, but it has no longer been produced in this company for the past ten years. However, in the Stapar village, not far from Sombor, in the Dairy 'Gulmlek', the production of Sombor Cheese in small wooden cheese vat restarted a few years ago. The owners of the Dairy were big milk manufacturers and produced Sombor Cheese for the green market sale. The owners decided to start cheese production, because they studied reference books and collected experiences of old women from the farms in the vicinity of Sombor, and then started producing larger quantities of cheese. In the production programme of the 'Gulmlek' Dairy, there are currently 15 types of cheese which can be bought in the shop in the Sombor green market. The second producer present in the market is the Stokuća family. The Stokuća family's homestead produces traditional Sombor Cheese in a small wooden vat, hard cheese, white and smoked cheese, and cheese in varieties with added walnuts, olives, basil, sunflower seeds, paprika and home made ham, as well as rolled cheese and 'kačkavalj' cheese.The cheese could represent authentic souvenir of this area. Also, it should be on menus of traditional restaurants in this area.