The traditional Tushetian cheese Svilobi is made from freshly collected sheep raw milk in Tusheti, from May to August inclusive. The originality of the cheese is conditioned primarily by high quality of the milk yielded from Tushetian sheep grazing on alpine pastures of Tusheti.
Svilobi is made from raw milk, which is filtered in a double strainer laid out with different healing herbs: nettle, suck-bottle and feather-grass. The filtered milk is mixed with the preliminary prepared rennet and in order to keep in the warmth it is covered with a felt cloak. In an hour, the curd is stirred up and kept covered again with the felt cloak. Thereafter, the curd is squeezed to release it from the whey, the remaining soft cheese is cut and placed into a special sackcloth, by means of which the cheese mass is well sqeezed and shaped into round cylinders. The formed sackcloth-wrapped cheese is put then on the cheese board and covered with a felt cloak for 2 hours, following which the cheese Guda is taken to the cheese room and covered again with the felt cloak to keep it in the warmth for 2 days. After that the cheese is placed in a preliminary prepared guda (a sack made of sheep skin); four to five blocks of cheese are placed in the sack and are covered with layers of salt. Thereafter the cheese guda is moved to a cheese room and covered again with the felt cloak to keep it warm for 2 days. The cheese is rolled several times a day in order that the fresh cheese is well shaped and equally salted.
The ripening of the cheese in the guda will take minimum 60 days, after which the cheese will be ready for sale. The sheep Guda cheese Svilobi is distinguished by a specific spicy taste and particularly delicate aroma.
Svilobi is the name of a mountain in Alaznistavi, on the northern slope of which are located the Co-op’s cheese-making plant and grazing lands.
Svili in the mountain dialects of the Georgian language means the ancient-old cereal crop – rye. Members of the cheese-making co-operative “Alaznistavi” named all the three brands of their product (Guda cheese) after their native village of Gometseri gorge, the wonderful monument of the Georgian highland architecture – Dochu and the most picturesque place of the same gorge.