Celebrating the Oscypek, Traditional Sheep Cheese

View all 28 Photos

To celebrate centuries of handmade cheese making, photographer Michal Korta spent three days capturing the process of creating Oscypek, a smoked cheese made from salted sheep milk. In the Tatra Mountains of Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, this special cheese has had its beginning in the 15th century.

The taste of the cheese depends on the time of year it was made and the herbs and grass eaten by the sheep. Some people claim the cheese is at its finest during the spring since the milk is full of fat. The Gorale (or highlanders) indigenous people along the southern Polish region of Podhale in the Tatra mountains hand make this distinct form of cheese. These people can also be found in Chicago, Illinois and spend weeks at a time outside their homes in wooden shelters looking after their herd. During the months of May to September, they start their day early in the morning milking the sheep three times a day.

The process starts by gathering each individual sheep to be treated for medicine and to then get their wool sheared. The Gorales milk the sheep by hand and mix the formula with cows milk. After heating it, the unpasteurized liquid is turned into cottage cheese, is repeatedly rinsed with hot salt water and is then squeezed by hand. It’s pressed into these decorative handmade wooden spindles and is left to sit in a brine filled barrel for one or two nights. Finally, the cheese is placed closed to the roof in a wooden hut and is cured in hot smoke for up to 14 days.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(54121)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(16041)
}
            
  • Introducing Parachute Coffee

    Freshly roasted coffee, delivered to your door. Based in Toronto, Canada, Parachute Coffee provides a…

  • Introducing Mezcal Delirio

    Smooth and smoky, steeped in tradition. Unlike its more popular cousin tequila, mezcal has a…

  • The 20 Best Whiskey Glasses

    Perfect for the best of times, shared with your the people you love; for good…

  • Coava Coffee Roasters

    A specialty coffee brand that puts ‘art’ in artisan coffee. Founded by veteran barista and…

  • Chocolates by Ryan L Foote

    Designer chocolates that blend 3D-printing techniques with architecture and nature-inspired forms. When creative people have…

  • Greater Goods Coffee

    Great coffee in a beautifully designed space. Based in Austin, Texas, Greater Goods Coffee Roasters…

Take me there

  • The Soori Bali Resort

    A tranquil resort in Bali with private beach. Built on the south-western coast of Bali,…

  • Villa Castelluccio

    A 1920s countryside villa transformed into a gorgeous retreat. Nestled among old olive trees in…

  • The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel

    Prefab guests suites designed to offer an immersive hotel experience. Built on a vineyard plot…

  • Zallinger Refuge

    A thoughtful renovation and expansion of historical buildings in the Alps. Dating back to the…