The traditional Romanian products obtain identity and recognition by European legislation. These products can have an immeasurable value for the cultural heritage of the Romanian people and represents also a highly economic potential.
The Năsal cheese is the only sort of Romanian cheese with mould, having also a specific technology. It’s identity is due to it’s specific qualities given by the ripening in the natural den from Ţaga, Cluj County. In this unique location the temperature and humidity of the air are constant all year long favoring also in this way the obtainment of a quality product. In this way Brevibacterium linens “contaminates” the cheese and transforms it into a highly appreciated specialty by the consumers. The conditions in the den, and the existence of bacteria, are impossible to reproduce in any other place, with the result of uniqueness of this cheese.
It is said that the area was owned by a rich and cruel count. One day, some brave farmers have ignored the commandments of the noble and took some pieces of his cheese, for their children. They hid the cheese in the den near the Năsal village, and did not rushed to go and take it. Weeks passed, and one day a villager went into the cave, convinced he will find the cheese rotten. He had a big surprise when he found it in good condition. The cheese changed its color to a reddish yellow, but the taste was very good, despite the smell. Finally, the count found out and punished the peasants. However, he began himself to keep in the cave cheese pieces, with whom he served all his noble guests, proud of its exquisite taste.
The cheese is hard, reddish at exterior and it has a soft, creamy consistency. It is recommended to be served with a dry red wine. You can use slices of red onion, red grapes, nuts or integral crackers. Today, the Năsal cheese is produced by Napolact, a major dairy producer from Cluj and sold in a wooden box.