Klenovecký Syrec – Another Protected Geographical Indication Valid in the EU Territory
When we had informed you some time ago about the entry of the geographical indication Zázrivské vojky into the register of protected designations of origin and of protected geographical indications of the European Commission, we expected the entry of another geographical indication from Slovakia, Klenovecký Syrec. It was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union on January 14, 2015 by the publication of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No 2015/37 of January 6, 2015 on the entry of Klenovecký Syrec into the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications.
The mentioned product can be designated with the geographical indication as well as with the appropriate symbol of the European Union after 20 days from the publication of the mentioned regulation.
Within the system of protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional specialties guaranteed there are seventeen names of agricultural products and foodstuffs from the Slovak Republic registered in the EU.
Application for the protection of the geographical indication Klenovecký Syrec was filed with the Industrial Property Office of SR in 2010 by the Guild of Sheep Cheese Producers, Processors of Milk, Cheese and Sheep Meat (it was sent to Brussels in 2012) and published in the Official Journal on August 15, 2014, and since none of the eligible persons filed any opposition against the entry into the Register within three months, the indication was registered.
According to the technical documentation Klenovecký Syrec is a semi-hard, ripened cheese, smoked or unsmoked, in the form of a wheel 10 – 25 cm in diameter or in wedges of 10 – 14 x 12 – 16 x 8 – 12 cm. The basic raw material for Klenovecký Syrec is sheep´s or cow´s milk. The cheese is produced either directly in a salaš (a hut used by shepherds) or on a farm by the salaš method of production, or at diaries using the industrial method.
The surface of the cheese is unbroken, with a particular mosaic pattern – a circle 4 – 6 cm in diameter with embossed cross or four-leaf clover. Syrec may have a soft rind or may be coloured green or coloured using a wood ash. It weighs between 1 and 4 kg.
Klenovecký Syrec is produced in Slovenské Rudohorie, which is the area of Gemer and Malý Hont. This geographical territory belongs to the central and eastern Slovakia with mountains and meadows. From the north it is surrounded by ridges of the Low Tatras, from the south by the slopes of Cerová Highlands and the state border with Hungary and in the east the area is surrounded by Slovak Ore Mountains (see map). It is the area around Klenovec where many original uncontaminated meadows and pastures are suitable for feeding sheep and cows. Milk of these foothills has excellent renneting and acidifying capabilities, a prerequisite to provide a cheese of the exceptionally high quality.
The first preserved written documents on the historical origin of the cheese in this area date from 1850. Agriculture was the main occupation of inhabitants of Gemer and Malý Hont. Sheep and cows breeding was the main farming sector preserved until now. During the period of Hungary the Klenovecký Syrec had been exported to Vienna and Budapest. After the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic the food supply was narrowed down only to surrounding towns.
The production of Klenovecký Syrec relates to the specific and exceptional skills of producers. Thanks to the skills, experience and knowledge gained from previous generations the manufacturing process, the shape and the quality of the product were preserved.
Klenovecký Syrec is decorated with specific ornaments. Specific ornamentation shows a ring with the cross or four-leaf clover inside embossed through the matrix (figure) on the surface of the cheese. Circumference is serrated. Ornamentation symbolises the earth, the universe, the sun and the wisdom of our ancestors.