June 8, 2018 - Skorup or kajmak (its popular Serbian name) is a lovely dairy spread that belongs to authentic milk products of the best quality in Montenegro. Its texture and high-fat percentage (60% on average) could be compared to the famous clotted cream from Cornwall or Devon in Britain. However, their tastes are very different. Kaymak traced its origins in the culture of Turic and Balkan people and became a traditional delicacy in Greece, Iraq, and Iran. The name kaymak is similar for this dairy product in many languages, though, in Montenegro, the original name is different which gives a reason to assume that this method of milk processing was probably not borrowed but developed initially in the area.
Traditionally the skorup was produced in the northern part of the country, in the Durmitor—Sinjajevina region. And it's still the best place to try the original taste of the product today. Skorup is mainly produced from July to September when milk contains the highest amount of fat and both day and night temperatures in this area are most favorable for the process. Usually, skorup is made from a mixture of cow and sheep milk, and in some households even with goats milk. There are two types of this product: a young one, which is just 1 or 2 days old with a very soft structure and mild taste, and when it has been matured for two months or so. This kind of skorup, kept in proper conditions in a ventilated room with lower temperatures, can be stored for up to a year.
Young skorup on a piece of bread instead of butter was a typical breakfast for many Montenegrins as well as Serbians and Bosnians, and in their minds, it is associated today with rural life and grandma's house. Of course, now you can buy kaymak in any supermarket, but the real homemade product you can get only at the farmer's market or at a gastro-fair (there are at least two events in Durmitor every summer).
Skorup is widely used in traditional Balkan recipes, and here are some of them to try in Montenegro:
- „pljeskavica na kajmaku“ is grilled minced meat topped with kaymak
- „cicvara“ is a type of kporridge made of corn flour stirred in melted kaymak
- „Karadjordjeva snicla“ is rolled pork covered with breadcrumbs with kaymak (careful! the portion is usually really huge)