Monday December 10th, 2012

Donkey cheese A woman milks a donkey at a Zasavica Resort farm in Serbia, where the world's most expensive cheese originates. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

World No. 1. Five-time Grand Slam champion. Cheesemonger. Novak Djokovic's gluten-free diet may have aided his success, but based on his offseason acquisitions, it's clear that he harbors no ill will toward lactose.

In one of the weirder stories of this offseason -- one that included Bernard Tomic shirtlessly wrestling a friend in a hot tub -- Djokovic has bought the entire 2013 supply of the most expensive cheese in the world. Pule, a Serbian cheese made from donkey's milk, is produced at a small reserve in Zasavica, located about 50 miles west of Belgrade. The donkeys are milked by hand and it takes 25 liters of milk to produce one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cheese.

So move over, Portland. It doesn't get more artisan than this.

Last month, the head of the reserve, Slobodan Simic, told Reuters that the white, crumbly cheese goes for between $1,700 and $2,900 a pound on the open market, but it's decided to sell one batch at about $600 a pound. The price was right for Djokovic, who has reportedly purchased the farm's entire 2013 production so he can serve the cheese, which has been described as similar to Spanish manchego, at his eponymous restaurants in Serbia.

Still curious about pule? Here's a video from the Zasavica farm with Simic talking up the cheese.

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