A day without vodka has done Barnaby the power of good and he is now back on solid food. To nurse himself back to health he has been nibbling on his favourite of all Polish cheeses – oscypek (‘os-tsi-pek’), smoked mountain sheep’s cheese.
Oscypek is a speciality of the Tatras mountains around Zakopane. The sheep’s milk curds are packed into carved wooden moulds, most traditionally a spindle shape, to harden, and then hung in woodsmoke to acquire their classic colour and flavour.
Apparently unscrupulous market traders paint their cheeses with coffee to imitate the authentic oscypek appearance. But this one came from an impeccable source via Richard and Marzena’s cheese lady.
A good oscypek should squeak when you bite into it and have a rich buttery taste. Barnaby likes his sliced and fried until crispy golden-brown on the outside and gooey on the inside.