What is special about Pag lamb

Food & wine

Is Pag lamb the best lamb in the world? Here are some pretty convincing arguments in favour.

A rare treat

Lamb or janjetina, as it is called in Croatian, is one Croatia’s best delicacies and many consider Pag lamb to be the best of the best. It is protected under both national and European laws and quite difficult to obtain. Pag lamb has been registered under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) mark since 2015, and Pag cheese was added to the register in 2019.

Croatians usually only eat lamb on special occasions and they generally do not eat the prized Pag lamb as it is rare and pricey, which is not surprising when you consider the environment in which these indigenous sheep live.

They roam free and are never put in enclosed areas during their entire life. This is a special, local breed of sheep and, due to their physical activity and healthy diet, they are smaller than typical sheep. They are reared in a natural and traditional way, the way it is supposed to be. This tradition has been kept for centuries. It is estimated that there are around 30.000 sheep living their best life on the beautiful island of Pag.

Special diet

The wandering sheep eat salty island wildflowers and medicinal herbs like rosemary and sage, grazing their way through the barren karst terrain. Natural lamb can’t get any more natural than this. The salt sediment brought by the Bora wind from the sea in combination with the naturally-occurring herbs and spices that the sheep feed on is what gives Pag lamb and the cheese made from the sheep’s milk its unparalleled taste, praised by gastronomes all over the world as a top speciality.

In addition to this, young sheep feed exclusively on their mother’s milk before gradually passing on to young shoots of grass in the spring. They are not given any food additives whatsoever.

Rich flavour

The meat of Pag lambs is wonderfully tender and juicy, gentle yet full of flavour. It is pale pink, lean and delicate. A traditional island specialty is janjetina na gradele or grilled lamb accompanied with polenta or potatoes. Another fantastic way to enjoy beautifully soft lamb is under the bell or ispod peke in Croatian. Cooking lamb this way is a time-consuming process, but it is well worth the wait. Lamb is also commonly prepared using a rotisserie over open fire.

Pag cheese

The island of Pag offers authentic, traditional specialities that will make your mouth water and the unique sheep from Pag are prized not only for their meat, but also for the award-winning cheese produced from their milk.

The most famous cheese factory in Croatia – the Gligora Cheese Factory – is located only 4 kilometres from our Camping Village Šimuni so you can easily visit it, try their truly unique products and learn more about the rich tradition. The Gligora Cheese Factory has won numerous prestigious awards and their Pag cheese has been awarded the best cheese in the world! When you try Pag lamb and Pag cheese, you are bound to come back for more.

But how can you know if Pag lamb really is what it is claimed to be? Come try it and decide for yourself!