Oscypek (or oszczypek) is a traditional sheep smoked cheese that you must taste when travelling to the Podhale region of Poland.
Oscypek (click here: http://bit.ly/15uAGI7 to listen how it is pronounced in Polish) is a cheese made using salted sheep’s milk, with the addition of cow’s milk, strictly regulated by a secret, protected recipe.
The mixture is first turned into cottage cheese, which is then repeatedly rinsed with boiling water and squeezed. After this, the mass is pressed into wooden forms in decorative shapes. The forms are then placed in a brine-filled barrel for a night or two, after which they are placed close to the roof in a special wooden hut and cured in hot smoke for up to 14 days.
There are also other cheeses produced in the Podhale region, such as little Redykołka cheese, or Bundz cheese, which is a kind of cottage cheese made from sheep’s milk.
And of course, the best way to taste the cheese is to visit the huts where they are produced! There are a few huts in the Podhale region, which are quite easy to access (you don’t need to climb high in the mountains). The most famous huts (bacówka) are located near Zakopane, Czorsztyn, in the Gorce mountains, near Nowy Targ.
Read the official internet guide for “oscypek trail” (in Polish, English and German): http://www.tatry.pl/UserFiles/szlak_oscypkowy.pdf
See the map of all Tastes of Poland: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/05/21/tastes-of-poland-introduction/