Oszczypek, as this cheese is called, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Tatra Mountain region of Poland. This cheese was definitely one of the highlights of our time in Zakopane, and lucky for us, it was everywhere. It’s easily recognizable by its unique shape and designs. The shepherds of the Tatras still produce this cheese in the traditional way. The unpasteurized sheep’s milk is salted, then turned into cottage cheese. The curd is then pressed into hand carved, wooden molds which gives the cheese its characteristic highlander design. At this point, the cheese is brined then placed in the eaves of the shepherd’s cottage where it gradually absorbs the wood smoke from the fire. The cheese comes in many different shapes and forms, and can be eaten in several different ways. I would describe it as a mild cheese, tasting similar to mozzarella, especially the fresh, non-smoked versions. I’m not a cheese expert, so if anyone else has experienced this cheese, please share in the comments!