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Questions on Polish food: Oscypek and Zurek. Also zeberka.

Pivo 1 | 6  
24 Apr 2007 /  #1
1 - Oscypek. You see old dears selling these all over Krakow - is it safe to buy them from them from a hygiene point of view? I mean, they are cheese after all and are sat outside for probably days on end.

2 - Zurek. I've tried a few packet type Zurek in the UK and none are as good as proper home made. I've seen a bottled version at my local shop (also at but how is it this used? Is the bottle just shaken and heated or must water be added. Also (this may cause arguments), what are the correct ingredients to add to Zurek? I've seen mushrooms, potatoes, egg, kielbasa ...


glowa 1 | 291  
24 Apr 2007 /  #2
1. normally it's safe, but will often be fake, oscypek should be made from goat milk, while most of what you can buy from those people, will be made from cow milk and won't have the characteristic taste.

it's cheese, from the hygiene point of view it should be safe

2. no, the bottle includes something that's called "żur", it's sort of mild acid - the main ingredient of the soup, not ready for serving yet. you use it like vegetables in a vegetable soup :)

whatever you add to the soup, sausage, egg... will be "correct"
OP Pivo 1 | 6  
24 Apr 2007 /  #3
So if I add some of the bottle to stock, this will be żurek?
glowa 1 | 291  
24 Apr 2007 /  #4
stock, that's the word I couldn't recall, yes, that's the way.
24 Apr 2007 /  #5
what I usually do is to take some Polish sausage, cut it in small pieces and boil it in vegetable stock for 30 minutes. Then I add the bottled zurek to the stock while stirring (make sure you do that, since it contains flour). Keep stirring until the soup becomes of a smooth consistency and bring it to boil. Add some sour cream, garlic, pepper and salt and bring it to boil again.

You can also add some chopped bacon to the stock with the sausage in the first stage.
I personaly don't add boiled eggs when serving but some people do.

I add the whole bottle because I like my zurek quite sour.
24 Aug 2007 /  #6
Oscypek is made from sheep (not goat!) milk, sometimes with some cows milk added. It's only made between spring and autumn when the sheep give milk - if you find oscypek at any other time, it's fake (i.e. made from cows milk). Also it's usually pretty safe - it's been smoked which preserves it. However, often the stuff you see sold in Krakow has been dipped in strong tea to give it the right colour. Have a sniff - if you can smell smoke, it's likely to be OK. If you smell tea, give it a miss.
3 Dec 2007 /  #7
no..they are not dipped in tea..they are smoked. tehre are many different "colors" of oscypki sold on the depends on how much they were smoked. there are very very dark oens that have a strong charred flavor, while the almost white ones have a very fresh and salty taste. the most oscypki are sold in the south, preferably in zakopane, but the higher north yo go the less likely you are to see them.

also, why woulnt they be safe to eat? its not like your traveling from southern latin america where different parasites exist, i have never become sick from anything on the street in poland. they may be unrefrigerated, but the soft cheese makes a VERY unique tart "crisp" between your teeth.
z_darius 14 | 3,964  
3 Dec 2007 /  #8
I've seen mushrooms, potatoes, egg, kielbasa ...

There are some reginal varieties.
Make sure though your selection of kilebasa doesn't introduce to too strong flavor. Personally, I'd avoid "mysliwska". Wiejska seems best for my taste, although I think that finely chopped bacon is the most neutral and gentle, and preserves the original flavor of zurek itself.
4 Dec 2007 /  #9
I assure you, I've had the misfortune of buying oscypki that have never seen a whiff of smoke, and were definitely dipped in tea! Hopefully the inclusion of the cheese on the EU list will mean that only authentic producers will survive...
gosiaczek 1 | 85  
4 Dec 2007 /  #10
inkrakow, unfortunately you're right. I spent a month in Zakopane and often talked to local people, they admitted that they neither use goat's nor sheep's, but cow's milk to produce oscypki. they also talked about colouring, that they simply "paint" oscypki because the process of smoking is quite long and they want to gain profit in a relatively short period. of course tourists are blissfully unaware of such practices...
JayBee 1 | 12  
21 Dec 2007 /  #11
[Moved from]: I love Polish żeberka and żurek!!

I just love żeberka , My womans mothers is the best i've tried, We make it in england the same but have to use a different cut of meat, what is the cut of meat called traditionally used ??? And i love żurek but without the egg !!
Wroclaw Boy  
21 Dec 2007 /  #12
Its pork belly on the bone. Around 1 kilo is good for two, you have to trim off some of the fat and cut it. Also when you buy it make sure the bones are not longer than three inches.
JayBee 1 | 12  
21 Dec 2007 /  #13
Nice one wroclaw boy !!!
13 Nov 2008 /  #14
It should be a vegetable stock, which you add some diced gammon, or bacon to. (meat fried slightly with onion first) Add a clove of garlic or two.
cinek 2 | 345  
17 Nov 2008 /  #15
Have you ever had zured served in a loaf of bread?
Delicious :-)
pawian 223 | 24,567  
17 Nov 2008 /  #16
1 - Oscypek. You see old dears selling these all over Krakow

Well, it would be good to wash your piece of oscypek before eating. it has surely been touched many times by not always hygenic hands.

Another method to get rid of unwanted germs is to have it grilled.
23 Nov 2008 /  #17
When my father prepares "zurek" he starts by boiling piece of bacon at evening. We usually eat it for supper with bread and horseradish when its still warm. Next day he uses water from that boiling along with bottled "zurek" to make soup. Thanks to this it gets unforgetable taste.
Seanus 15 | 19,672  
18 Dec 2008 /  #18
Classic Polish food right here. Winter warmers :)

I want to try bitki sometime

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