Oscypek or Oszczypek is a type of cheese found exclusively in the Tatra Mountain region of Poland. Most commonly it’s sold in flea markets in Southern Poland, in the street market in Zakopane, Poland, and individually by the farmers who make them. The first mention of Oscypek being made goes back to 1416, and the first recipe was seen in 1748 around the Żywiec area of Southern Poland. This cheese is strongly linked with being made by the Górale of the Zakopane region. Likewise, if one has family in that region, this cheese will be often offered as something you can eat while visiting.
Oscypek is made with the use of salted sheep’s milk. Unpasteurized sheep’s milk is made into cottage cheese. That cottage cheese is continually rinsed with boiling water and squeezed. The cheese is then pressed into its trademark shape. After being put into a brine-filled barrel for about two days, the cheese is put near the roof of the hut(it’s made inside) and cured with hot smoke for two weeks. The taste of the cheese varies with the amount of ingredients used by the person making it, but the Oscypek always has the trademark shape and a hint of taste that each cheese shares if made correctly.
During the period before Poland joined the European Union, there was concern over whether or not Oscypek would be banned because of its use of unpasteurized milk and it being made by unlicensed farmers. No action has been taken against it, and the name ‘Oscypek’ is now protected under the Protected Designation of Origin. The Oscypek has become a specialty in Southern Poland, and it’s a cheese no one should pass up when visiting Poland.
Love padlocks. Kinda a crazy idea. What if you break up!? Damn. I mean, more then 50% of marriages end in divorce now a days. I bet half of these padlocks are technically ‘unlocked’. Imagine you went by and you were with a new boyfriend admiring the Love Locks - so much for silly little decisions made in the moment.
Father Bernards Footbridge, Krakow Poland. 4th April 2012.