The Traditional Cheese in Kavar

The Kavar Reservoir, which is 15 km long, has six villages located from Tatvan to Van. These are, Tokaçlı / Kurtıkan, Dibekli / Sülü, Bolalan / Şamnis, Kolbaşı / Avetaks, Düzcealan / Çorsin, Yassıca / Ünsüz. After Tatvan, on the road up ahead, passes right through this green reservoir, which consists of three villages and five hamlets.

The villages next to the reservoir had evacuated due to the conflict in the 1990s, and the majority had migrated to the big cities. When the villagers started to return to their villages in the early 2000s, they developed various projects for farming, beekeeping and crop production to revive the rural life. The cooperative’s opening, which was opened in 2008 was thanks to the support of the Hüsnü Özyeğin Foundation and Eastern Anatolia Development Agency. The cooperative’s products can be bought at the entrance of Kolbasi village.

How to make Herbed cheese?

Close to the reservoir, where milk production used to be based mainly on ovine livestock, is now based on cattle. The Milk Collection Center was established in 2010 and became operational in spring 2011. In the town, cheese is produced here either plain or by adding herbs to the curd. It is then matured in two ways, either by pressured or pickled.

In May, the milk which is gathered from the sheep is drained and then fermented with yeast made from lamb crop, and then the substance is placed in a pot to rest for one hour after being wrapped with cloths. An hour later, when the milk is turned into curd, a yellowish water-like texture appears on the top. If the cheese is to have some herbs, it is added before the curd is formed. There are many different herbs which you can use, but only one type is added at a time. Then the curd is broken and mixed thoroughly with herbs and emptied into a thin cloth. The mouth of the bag must be securely tied, then a heavy stone is placed on top of the bag and left to rest for 12 hours for the liquid to leak out. After 12 hours, the milk becomes cheese and ready to be served.

For those who would like it pickled all you have to do is take the cheese and put it in a bowl and leave it to soak in salty water for a day. You can also add beetroot to the liquid, which is the traditional way and has a rich flavour.

We leave you to decide and wish you a nice time in the village.