The most famous kinds of Carpathian cheeses
Do not be alarmed by the post title because you may never meet last two words in your life before traveling to the Carpathians, except for brynza. But it turned out, these are the most famous, popular and, take my word, the most delicious Carpathian cheeses. In addition, they are appreciated far beyond the borders of Ukraine to almost the cheesiest France. Anyway, many Europeans come to the Carpathians specifically for these cheeses. And if to think carefully, it is possible to imagine that then we get our own cheese in your beautifully packaged boxes only with the words not always Maid in Ukraine. Moreover, think about it – the cost of 1 kg of cheese on the meadow is $5 cost for cheeses in urban stores at least twice as high…
All of the above Hutsul cheeses – brynza and budz differ from each other in flavor, color and even the smell that comes of course from different cooking techniques. However, of course they have the same source –Carpathian polonyna.
Generally, one of the legends tells us that a long time ago (and it is not a week ago, as we sometimes say :)), but about 4 thousand years ago) one shepherd happen to be in the hot Arabian desert, and according to other sources it was a merchant (in nowadays – Self-employed)). It does not matter on why he was there and where he walked, but he had a wineskin as a thirst quencher (by our standards, probably a thermos) from sheep’s stomach filled with milk. On a halt our traveler found a watery fluid instead of milk (serum) and white lump (oh what he wanted to get fresh milk in 40-degree heat?!!!), after tasting which he was surprised by unusual delicate flavor. Since in those days, patenting an invention was not fashionable and there was no place to do it, hence the shepherd, who is also a merchant complacently, shared knowledge/recipe with other people. In fact, that is where the brynza was born.
How the Carpathian cheese is made
And as it is being born and other Hutsul cheese in the Carpathian Mountains, I’m going to tell you now in a few words and a few pictures.
First, fresh milk is boiled in vats.
Then it is being diluted with special rennet made from the stomach of calves and lambs slaughtered under the age of 1 month. By the way, from this sourdough remained after cheese hutsuls make such milk beer – mash with a rather peculiar and interesting taste.
After that, the cheese is being removed from the vat, formed in pieces and wrapped in gauze for some time for percolation. Interestingly, previously the role of gauze was performed by spruce twigs.
Next, ways of the three cheeses are slightly different.
Formed heads partially are being put on top of the fire in the attic – on planks and they go through a process of smoking – from 4 days to a week.
It is difficult to guess from the appearance that it is not bread, and in fact this is the budz – Hutsul smoked cheese.
If to cook brynza – the heads of cheese after cheesecloth are just getting dried and a week later triturated with salt. True Hutsul brynza from meadows is dryish and crumbly, unlike the shops’, and has a shelf life of up to one year in the refrigerator.
And the sweetest of all the cheeses is vurda. It is made from the remnants of cheese left in the casserole after the bulk taken. They add some fresh milk and boil again. After that, clots which gone up are being collected in bucket. To make a little comparison this cheese by taste somewhat reminds sweet curd.
Certainly, there are special secrets in cooking that no one tells to tourists, but the important thing is that the overall process of preparing such delicious Hutsul cheese with mysterious names such as vurda, budz and brynza for us became known.
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