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Redykołka is a small cheese made from the remnants of the oscypek production, specific to the Podhale region. These small cheeses are traditionally molded into the shapes of animals, birds, hearts or spindles.
It is frequently mistaken for oscypek, a typical cheese from the region that is also a Slow Food Presidia, and which is actually called its “big sister”. The name redykołka is derived from the word “redykanie”, which refers to the moment when the herds return from the mountains, and is used as part of a gift exchange, offered to children and guests.
The first information of how this unique cheese was made dates back to 1748, and it said that it was introduced by Wallachian shepherds, who grazed their sheep in highland glades in the Czech and Slovak border regions.

Redykołka is made from unpasteurized milk of Polish Mountain Sheep. However, it can be modified with the addition of cow’s milk from the breed of Polish Red Cow, but with a maximum of 40% of the total weight of the milk. The first step to prepare redykołka cheese is the cold ripening of the milk to increase its acidity. Later, the soured and the fresh milk are mixed in a copper pot and heated up to approximately 40° C. At this stage, the rennet is added to the milk and left until it starts to coagulate, and the curd appears. The curd is then cut and broken into small pieces with a traditional wooden spatula called ferula. Later, up to 50% of the whey is drained and the cheese mass is pounded and divided by hand into portions in the shape of a ball.
The balls are steamed and kneaded several times until they obtain the desired consistency. At this point the cheese is molded into various shapes of farm animals, plants etc. Once molded, redykołka is soaked in brine for up to 24 hours, then dried for 12 to 24 hours, and later cold-smoked for 3 to 7 days. The small cheeses obtained are straw-colored, smooth and elastic, slightly salty with a distinct smoked flavor.

Within the community of Polish batsa (shepherds) only few young people are interested in perpetuating the traditional shepherd’s way of life, which seriously endangers the future of the traditional cheese making in the region.

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Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Marta Czekalska