Oscypek

Posted on 20. Jan, 2012 by in cooking, Countries, Culture, food

Have you ever tried oscypek – the most famous Polish cheese? It is a smoked cheese made from the salted sheep milk (don’t buy imitations made from cow’s milk) and formed in traditional wooden forms. Oscypek is an absolute “must taste” when you visiting Polish mountains. Very tasty when served with red wine or smoked fish.

It is produced in the original form of small, spindle-like blocks with typical regional decorating pattern. Oscypek is one of tourist attractions of Polish mountains. You can eat it as cold or hot (grilled and served with the cranberry). Fresh oscypek is really tasty. One can buy it early in the morning, right after the production, in shepherd’s huts, which you would come across in mountain valleys.

The first mention of cheese production in the Tatra Mountains dates back to the 15th century, in a document from the village of Ochotnica in 1416. The first recorded recipe for oscypek was issued in 1748 in the Żywiec area.

Before Poland voted to join the European Union, some Polish Eurosceptics warned that oscypek could be banned in the EU due to its use of unpasteurized milk and its production by unlicensed farmers. No action has been taken yet against the sale or production of the cheese.

There is also a smaller form called redykołka, known as the ‘younger sister’ of oscypek.

I really like oscypek…I wish I would be able to find it in US…

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

About Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew up in Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business at the University of Warsaw. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with her Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they was born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.

2 Responses to “Oscypek”

  1. Lori 20 January 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Yes, I’ve sampled it! It tastes a bit salty to me. And when I had another American sample it, other Americans got upset saying, “You shouldn’t eat things like this in a foreign country.” Well, since I’d been living in Central Europe for six months, and living quite well by the way on Central European food, I wasn’t too afraid of food in Europe! And I knew that in the EU the same food standards are used as used in the United States — which might be small comfort considering some of the food outbreaks we’ve had in the U.S.
    The first time I saw this I was certain it was fancy bread. Glad you put a photo.

  2. Deborah 20 January 2012 at 4:38 am #

    There is a wonderful Polish Market (3) in the Detroit area. http://www.thepolishmarketinc.com/ I would bet they might have this cheese, but their website seems to have some problems and the cheese list stops alphabetically at “m.” but you might try contacting them – wonderful people! Also, when I lived in Krakow in 1988 (in the dorms for Akademia Ekonomiczna), every day for breakfast I had buka z serem – roll w/ cheese. I’ve always wondered what kind of cheese it was. any idea? it was very soft and creamy, almost spreading like butter.


Leave a Reply