Oscypek cheese in Podhale region

Oscypek (or oszczypek) is a traditional sheep smoked cheese that you must taste when travelling to the Podhale region of Poland.

Oscypek pile. Picture source: PolishOrigins Forum

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.

Bacówka – a hut where oscypek is made. Picture: Aga, PolishOrigins Team

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 a thread about Oscypek on our Forum and watch the  YouTube video how it is made:


See the map of all Tastes of Poland: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/05/21/tastes-of-poland-introduction/

Aga Pawlus
PolishOrigins Team

One comment

  1. My mother was Polish and passed away 1987. Growing up I spent time in Chicago with my mother’s family. Now, after all those years, I am interested in finding more about the culture those older immigrants, the Drazzinkis’ knew and lived before coming to the USA. I am a “Foodie” interested in traditional Western European cuisine, in fact, global cultural cusine. I would like to procure some Polish cheese either the Oscypek or its late season counter part.

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