Oscypek is the pride of Podhale

Smoked, brackish, with character, this is the most famous cheese from Podhale. Apparently, among the highlanders from Zakopane, there are experts who will immediately sense in which shepherd’s hut the cheese was made and who made the oscypek cheese. Get to know other cheeses that are produced in shepherd’s huts.

The king is one...

Oscypek — should be a bit spicy in taste, and its center hard and dry. If the cheese is soft and rubbery, you can be sure it has more cow cheese in it. Is it tasty? Of course, but this is not real oscypek, because, as confirmed by every shepherd, it must consist of 60% sheep’s cheese, so it will not be yellow or orange, but light cream. What about the skin? It has to be a straw color. Since 2008, oscypek has a “Protected Designation of Origin” certificate and meets EU standards, i.e. it weighs from 60 to 80 dkg and measures from 17 to 23 cm.

Flails, korboce – long cheese threads, most often braided or bundled.

Bundz – is a white, slightly sweet cheese, which is made as the first product of “klagany” milk, i.e. seasoned with rennet. After separating the cheese curd, it is kneaded by hand into large lumps, then hung in sheets of linen on the wall of the shepherd’s hut.

And still a bitch

Bryndza – is salty, spicy and sometimes a bit sour. It is a soft cheese with a white, white-cream or light aquamarine shade. Bryndza is made on the basis of bundz, i.e. fresh, ground, dried, salted and unsmoked cheese. When is bryndza made? From May to September during the sheep grazing season. September bryndza has the most intense flavor. The sharpness of this cheese depends on the period of its storage in wooden vessels.

Redykołki – these are small cheese figurines of various shapes, which used to be brought by shepherds in the autumn redyk from the pastures to give them to their loved ones, mainly children. Currently, small cheeses in the form of spindles are sold at many stands and in shops.

Żętyca — when visiting a shepherd’s hut, it is impossible to try it. It is sheep’s milk whey left over from the production of oscypek cheese. Years ago, juhasi people believed that eating it brings strength and physical vigor.