If you love cheeses of all kinds and can’t imagine meals without them, then read this article!
What to enjoy Slovak brynza with, how it is made, what it can be replaced with and how it is nutritionally you will learn if you continue reading.
What is brynza?
Traditional brynza is a soft, mixed, salted and crumbly 100% sheep’s cheese with a semi-spreadable consistency. Among sheep’s, cow’s or goat’s cheese, there is no substitute in terms of its taste. When visiting Slovakia, you really cannot miss their traditional national dish “brynzové halúšky”.
How is brynza made?
Brynza is made using a minimum of 50% concentrated sheep’s milk, although this percentage can be much higher depending on the manufacturer’s preferences. It is a soft cheese very similar to feta cheese .
The production process is such that sweet sheep’s milk is first sweetened. This is then left to dry on the farm, resulting in lumpy sheep’s cheese. Subsequently, it is sorted and washed with water in the tannery. Then comes maturation, which takes place at a temperature of 20 °C in cheese vats. After ripening, the rind is removed, the excess whey is squeezed out and then crushed. This crushed mass is salted and rubbed on rollers, creating brynza.
The origin and history of brynza
The origin of brynza cannot be 100% confirmed, as the word comes from Romanian and was first mentioned in Dubrovnik in 1730. In Romanian, brynza means Wallachian cheese (by which they denoted any kind of salty cheese). It was then brought to Slovakia by migrating Wallachians. But only when the Slovaks came up with a procedure where such hard cheese is crumbled, salted and thus easier to use and has a longer shelf life.
As for the history in Slovakia, they have been eating brynza since the 14th century (despite the fact that it only became common in the 17th century). The first commercial production of this cheese began in the 1880s in the northern part of central Slovakia, in the Liptov region.
Bryndza or bryndza?
The original name comes from Romanian brînzâ , which is an ancient word for Carpathian shepherds. The name bryndza then caught on in Slovak. In Polish it is brędza and in Ukrainian it is brýn(d)za . In Czech, the only correct name is BRYNZA .
Nutritional values of brynza cheese per 100 g
|Sheep brynza||Cow brynza||Goat brynza|
|Energy value||275 calories||246 calories||255 calories|
|Proteins||16 g||12 g||14 g|
|Carbohydrates||2 g||2 g||0.5 g|
|Fats||23 g||21 g||22 g|
Is brynza healthy?
Brynza cheese is full of about twenty species of important lactobacteria. These bacteria multiply in the cheese during the ripening process, and there are about a billion such lactobacteria in 1 g of cheese. If we compare probiotic yogurts and drinks with brynza, they contain only 1-2 types of live cultures, which cannot be compared with brynza at all.
Brynza reduces harmful cholesterol, helps lower blood pressure and regulates blood sugar levels. It is great at preventing colon cancer and boosting immunity. Compared to cow’s milk, which contains about 1 g of calcium in 1 liter, sheep’s milk contains twice as much. So 1 kg of brynza contains about 6 g of calcium, which works well against bone thinning.
The best brynza
When testing dozens of bryndzas of different origins and from different manufacturers, bryndza from Agrofarm Červený Kameň – full-fat bryndza – came out as the best. (Source: dTest)
How to use brynza in the kitchen?
Brynza is a very tasty and delicious cheese. It is widely used in the traditional Slovak dish – brynza dumplings. You can try it served with potato dumplings, which will give it a rich taste. It is also excellent on freshly baked bread or baked crackers. Cheese also works great in salads such as tomato and pepper mix. It can also be used in the preparation of various spreads.
Recipes with brynza
How to store brynza?
Brynza is stored in the refrigerator at 4-6 °C and preferably in a suitable, resealable container. It has a shelf life of 14 days from the date of manufacture and is best consumed as soon as possible after opening. Brynza can also be frozen, but after thawing it will be used all at once.
Where to buy brynza?
The best brynzies can be purchased at farmers’ markets held at different times of the year. You can’t go wrong here. However, if you don’t have such a market nearby, you can buy it in specialized health food stores, but also in regular supermarkets in the dairy department.
How to make homemade brynz
You will need:
- microbial rennet
- calcium chloride
- mesophilic culture
- milk – cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s – whatever you have available
Watch the video recipe for traditional Slovak brynza:
If you still didn’t know what the term brynza means, we hope that you already have all the knowledge, and soon you too will cook something good at home with this delicious cheese.
And how do you enjoy brynza? Share with us in the comments! 🙂