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Cheese in Poland is too bland


sobieski 107 | 2,128
5 Dec 2013  #1
My biggest disappointment with cheese in Poland, that it is so bland. They all taste the same (at least the ones sold in the supermarkets). OK...some have holes in them (and are called "Emmental" even they wouldn't recognize Emmental even when it would kick them), some haven't....But in the end...

And I am not even talking about their composition, because I analysed quite a few times their labels and sometimes what they have in common with cheese is only the colour.

Zamoyski, Gouda, Edamski....all the same.
Of course you can buy foreign cheeses...but they cost an arm and a leg...
Question: Which are the better Polish cheeses (I prefer the Gouda or Emmental type)?
DominicB - | 2,672
5 Dec 2013  #2
Which are the better Polish cheeses (I prefer the Gouda or Emmental type)?

There is only one decent Polish cheese that I have found. It's called "Bursztyn", and it's a hard cheese for grating and serving with, for example, pasta. On par with any foreign cheeses of that type. Sorta kinda tastes a little like Norwegian brunnost, oddly, but of a much better quality, harder and not quite as sweet. A decent substitute for Italian hard cheeses. The same company makes two other cheeses, "Rubin" and "Safir", that I haven't tried yet because they never seem to have it in stock when I am in cheese buying mode. Based on the quality of "Bursztyn", they might be worth a try.

There is only one cheese of the type you mention that is OK. Not great, but edible. It's a Polish knock-off of Maasdammer. Pretty much OK for sandwiches, pasta, lasagna and pizza.

All of the rest I've tried were horribly bland and lifeless, including all Polish knock-offs of Gouda and Emmentaler. Just plain inedible, and yes, they all taste more or less the same, which is, like nothing at all.

If you want great cheeses, go to the Czech Republic. They make some truly incredible cheeses that are worth writing home about. There's a great cheese shop right across the border from Polish Cieszyn, on the right about 50 meters after you cross the old international exit point (which I think is called Most Pokoju or Most Jedności, or something like that). Worth checking out if your in the area.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
7 Dec 2013  #3
It's a Polish knock-off of Maasdammer.

And which one would that be? Because almost every shop in Poland sells Maasdammer.... In Lidl they used to have Dutch Gouda in blocks (I know it was Dutch, judging from the EU ID mark), but they do not sell it anymore.
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #4
you can get blocks of dutch gouda in kaufland, also carrefore have a good selection of cheeses
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
7 Dec 2013  #5
There's a great cheese shop right across the border from Polish Cieszyn, on the right about 50 meters after you cross the old international exit point (which I think is called Most Pokoju or Most Jedności, or something like that). Worth checking out if your in the area.

If it's the one in the north, it's Most Przyjaźni (old exit from Cieszyn to Cesky Tesin) and if it's in the south (old entrance from Cesky Tesin to Cieszyn), then it's Most Pokoju.

Good tip though, thanks :)
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
7 Dec 2013  #6
Except that I won't go to Cieszyn to buy cheese :). I know Carrefour has a big range of "cheese". Unfortunately it all is the same, regarding "taste".
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #7
Yep I do find polish (European) cheese very bland, at the moment lidl have a mature cheddar in which I've stocked up on however it is more like a mild cheddar. If you have an inter marche near you you might want to try it we get the leaflets through our door and they have a good range of cheese don't know what they are like though .

I do find it odd though that polish cheese is so tasteless as all other polish food is full of flavour
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
7 Dec 2013  #8
as all other polish food is full of flavour

You mean chemicals.

Take a look at what's in that packet of Vegeta next time your mother in law adds it.
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #9
Luckily my mother in law doesn't tend to used store brought flavourings , didn't know they were that bad though my partner does tend to use vegeta when we are in England will have to have alook at the packaging eek
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
7 Dec 2013  #10
my partner does tend to use vegeta when we are in England will have to have alook at the packaging

Plenty of nasties in there, that's for sure.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
7 Dec 2013  #11
Yep I do find polish (European) cheese very bland,

From what I know, compared to US "cheese" it is a delicacy.
Europe is full of good, regional cheeses. The art is to find it. The problem is that in Poland 99% of cheese is copycat of yet another bland copy.
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #12
England is where to find the good cheeses, blue Stilton, sage derby, vintage cheddar and Wensleydale mmmmm
TaiCat 1 | 30
8 Dec 2013  #13
I love Red Leicester mmm
Palivec - | 380
8 Dec 2013  #14
Yep I do find polish (European) cheese very bland, at the moment lidl have a mature cheddar in which I've stocked up on however it is more like a mild cheddar.

Haha, I was just waiting for this... someone from England complaining about local cheeses, and the first cheese he comes up with is Cheddar. LOL! :D

England is where to find the good cheeses, blue Stilton, sage derby, vintage cheddar and Wensleydale mmmmm

Ever tried Cabrales or Fourme d'Ambert? Gruyère, Munster or Taleggio? Harzer, Casar or Tilsit? Europe is full of great cheeses, and I can't say that England stands out, neither in quality nor quantity.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
8 Dec 2013  #15
Ever tried Cabrales or Fourme d'Ambert? Gruyère, Munster or Taleggio? Harzer, Casar or Tilsit? Europe is full of great cheeses, and I can't say that England stands out, neither in quality nor quantity.

Now now. He doesn't seem like the type to enjoy cheese boards.
Kevvy 2 | 37
8 Dec 2013  #16
I prefer Gorgonzola to most other blues cheeses other than Stilton, and cheddar is the first cheese I came up with because it is my favourite cheese and I don't mean mass produced cheddar, original cheddar made in cheddar , Somerset. I personally don't tend to like cheeses that have very strong smells but am very fond of Parmigiano-Reggiano , le roule, Jarlsberg, Danish blue to name a few European cheeses I enjoy
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
8 Dec 2013  #17
I prefer Gorgonzola to most other blues cheeses other than Stilton

Lazur Blue is highly recommended then, and easy to get.
serownik
8 Dec 2013  #18
Sad but true, the cheese level in Poland is abysmal. I tend to stock up on my trips to France (and on wine as well) though that's obviously not an optimal solution.

Auchan stocks a decent selection of French cheese, and sometimes stuff shows up in Lidl (and Lidl's wine buyer is on a roll lately, also!)
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
8 Dec 2013  #19
Still, where to go for your run-of-the-mill cheese? I took recently a good look at the labels of most "cheese" sold in Polish supermarkets...and let's say that often they resemble cheese, but that's all.

No doubt Alma & co sells perfect cheese...for a price which waters your eyes...But besides of that?

When I am in Belgium, I always buy cheese in one of the Trappist monasteries (the one my father worked in all his life actually). Nothing can equal the cheese (nor the beer for that matter) they produce.

but am very fond of Parmigiano-Reggiano

There is supposedly a Polish cheese which is cheaper but a satisfactory alternative to them...maybe that's the Bursztyn another poster wrote about/
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
8 Dec 2013  #20
had some lovely local cheese from the mountains in poland, it was similar to a halloumi kind of thing and was best fried, like halloumi.

tbh I do not really see the point of moving to a different country and then complaining about the food, of course it is different to your country.
Kevvy 2 | 37
8 Dec 2013  #21
Lidl is best for good cheese and wine around Christmas time, it's the same in England they get all the good stuff in. Haven't seen polish version of Parmigiano-Reggiano but do get the real thing in kaufland, I did once buy a grated hard cheese from Carrefour once and all it said on the packet was 'pasta cheese' it was cheap and absolutely awful. I have an inte marshe in my town with has French cheeses in
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
8 Dec 2013  #22
I do not really see the point of moving to a different country and then complaining about the food, of course it is different to your country.

True, and I agree with you on that. Only on the point of Polish cheese being bland, the Poles themselves agree. For the rest I buy almost all my veggies and eggs on our local open-air market. Quality very, very good, no comparison with what they sell in Carrefour. Sure the eggs are not kept in a fridge (two days ago they were covered with snow), but they are real eggs.
serownik
8 Dec 2013  #23
I'm Polish (actually, I hold dual citizenship with another country as well) and moved back here four years ago; does that somehow make me more qualified to comment on the lack of quality of our cheese? There is good cheese that is made in Poland, and I've had some, but it tends to be only available at food festivals and/or from the small, local producers themselves.

Unlike the French, who not only promote, but also regularly consume their best cheeses on a daily basis, it seems as if we're ashamed of anything decent we produce and instead keep on eating bland cheeses or indedible "seropodobny."

It's the same with beer. There's plenty of good beer made in Poland, but unless you look for it all you get is mass-produced urine-like lager, with the occasional token "non-standard" beer thrown in, usually from a large brewery. Thankfully, this is changing with beer shops popping up all over the place that sell some of the better stuff, and bars that will have it on tap. But it's slow going.
Kevvy 2 | 37
8 Dec 2013  #24
'Polish mass produced urine-like larger' is soooo much better than English mass produced urine-like larger :) also can't fault polish food except for cheese as prefer a lot of polish food to English food especially vegetables my mother in law grows in the garden and the eggs our chickens lay (which we keep in the fridge) are far better tasting than anything I used to buy in England and I'm very fond of pierogi (homemade) too :)
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
8 Dec 2013  #25
I couldn't agree with you more. In Belgium we have more as 1.000 beers, many of them coming from small local breweries, who have always a big fanclub.

Same goes for cheese - to go back to to the OP -. The Trappist cheese I buy is incredible. But...you can only buy it at the monastery gate, and only when the monks are not busy with their religious functions. It is not marketed anywhere.

But my sister is coming over for a surprise pre-Christmas visit next week with a load of Trappist cheese, Belgian chocolates, decent coffee and a big hug & smile for her brother :)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
8 Dec 2013  #26
'Polish mass produced urine-like larger' is soooo much better than English mass produced urine-like larger :)

Not really. Both will make you sick and give you a rotten hangover.
Kevvy 2 | 37
8 Dec 2013  #27
True cheap beer always gives me rotten hangovers only had 4 cans last night wasn't drunk and feel awful today
serownik
8 Dec 2013  #28
I don't drink beer anymore (mostly wine) but make an exception for Belgian beer; it's fantastic. I spent some time in Antwerp and Brussels this year and was in heaven. The Cantillon brewery in Brussels is highly recommended, their lambic blew my mind.

There are some lovely beers made here in Poland. Jasny Dynks from Poznań is easily the best wheat beer I've had since I can remember!

Back to cheese: yes, Trappist cheese is fantastic, but it's kind of a nice product. Much like the 120 zł/kilo super strong goat cheese made in Poland that I tried this summer. Sadly, this is not the kind of stuff easily accessible here, nor is it within reach of the average Polish budget. Plus, I find the Polish palate gravitates towards bland tastes anyways. Finding strong spice here is an exercise in futility; I've resorted to mail ordering and/or bringing it back from abroad.

"Niche" product is what I meant to type.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
9 Dec 2013  #29
, I find the Polish palate gravitates towards bland tastes anyways.

There is something in this...Many ethnic restaurants tend to "Polonize" their dishes. And not always with a good result. But maybe Polish restaurants let's say in the US do the same...adapt to local taste?

Trappist cheese is so much niche, that you can only buy it at the gate of the monasteries themselves.
But back to Poland cheese. Indeed blandness is the norm here. Maybe I can make an exception for Polish mountain cheese...
Palivec - | 380
9 Dec 2013  #30
I prefer Gorgonzola to most other blues cheeses other than Stilton,

Try Fourme d'Ambert. A bit more salty and creamy, and with a more refined taste than Gorgonzola, but just as mild. Or Saint Agur, which is easier to get.


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