Oscypek Museum of Zakopane

Visit us in Zakopane at 34A Krupówki Street (2nd floor) – the only such place with a highlander character!

Learn about the extraordinary legends of oscypek and stories about highlanders. Take part in unique workshops and see demonstrations of oscypek making.

Only with us – you will learn the secrets of making oscypek in a museum workshop!


Learn the secrets of making oscypek in a museum workshop


Discover the magical world of extraordinary legends and tales of oscypek


Discover the secrets of the production of real oscypek from Zakopane.


Possibility to see an oscypek-making demonstration every hour

Visit us in Zakopane

Krupówki 34 ( 2nd floor)

You will learn

How oscypek is made…

  1. Sheep grazing
Sheep grazing

The best milk for oscypek comes from ‘happy sheep’. What kind of sheep? Happy sheep, i.e. those which graze on green pastures full of various plants and herbs from Podhale. The secret of the taste and composition of the milk from which the most famous cheese in Podhale is made is this traditional grazing. Sheep’s milk is rich in protein and vitamins. It has an anticancer effect, strengthens blood vessels and supports our immunity.

According to highland tradition, the sheep move to the pastures in spring and return in autumn. And here are the important dates for shepherds: 23 April – the feast of Adalbert, during which the spring rudyk takes place, and 29 September – the feast of Michael the Archangel, when the sheep’s stay in the mountain pastures ends and the autumn rudyk takes place.

The redyk is an amazing spectacle, during which hundreds of sheep walk with shepherds along the Podhale streets and roads. The event has been attracting hundreds of tourists to the Podhale for years, who want to see this genuine highland celebration and immerse themselves in the giant fluffy sheep herd.

2. heating the milk

heating the milk

The shepherd must milk 20 sheep so that the shepherd can knead one oscypek from their milk. The sheep are milked twice a day. The first time in the morning at four o’clock and the second in the afternoon, usually after three o’clock. Genuine oscypek should contain about 75% sheep’s milk (the minimum is 60%). It takes about 6-7 litres of milk for one cheese! Did you know that cow’s milk is also added to oscypek? Why do you wonder? To make it easier to shape the cheese.

The milk for oscypek is heated to a temperature of around 30-35 degrees Celsius in order to separate the solids, i.e. protein, fat and lactose, from the liquids. The second reason for heating the milk is the shelf life of the oscypek. The temperature kills harmful bacteria that can spoil the milk and affect the quality of the cheese.

Proper heating of the milk is therefore crucial to the quality and taste of the oscypek.

3. thickening of the milk

thickening of the milk

The milk is heated over a fire in a cauldron. When it reaches the right temperature it is renneted, ‘zaklagane’ in Highlanderese. Klog is the name of rennet, an enzyme that is responsible for the coagulation, or curdling, of milk. Klog used to be made from calves’ or lambs’ stomachs, but now synthetic rennet is used.

When the milk curdles, a cheese mass is formed, which the shepherd breaks up with a wooden spatula known as a ferula. In order for the pieces of curd to stick together and sink to the bottom, a little water is added to the cauldron. After this stage, the curds are pressed out of the whey and kneaded into the shape of a ball, or ‘puca’.

4 Forming the cheese

Forming the cheese

The ball is steamed, in hot water even several times, and then put into a two-part mould – the ‘oscypiorki’. The word sounds familiar? It is the splitting of this mould that gives oscypek its name! The wooden mould gives the characteristic spindle shape to the most popular cheese in Podhale.

A real oscypek is shaped like a two-sided cone, weighs 60 -80 decagrams and is additionally decorated with characteristic patterns. Beautiful highlander patterns are a unique trademark for every shepherd.

Did you know that there are supposedly experts in Podhale who can immediately recognise in which bacówka cheese was made and who made the oscypek?

5. bathing oscypek

bathing oscypek

The cheese, thus prepared and shaped, goes into the broth. The broth is a mixture of water and salt. The oscypkki bathe in such a solution for at least a night in order to acquire their unique flavour.

Why are the oscypkki soaked? There are two important reasons. The first, to draw excess water out of them by osmosis. The second – such bathing has antibacterial properties! After drying on the second day, the oscypek goes for smoking.

This is the next stage in the preparation of the most famous cheese from Podhale.

6. smoking and maturing of the cheese

smoking and maturing of the cheese

Smoking is a key stage in the production of oscypek. In bacówka huts, where the fire is stoked by pine or spruce wood, the cheese matures over the following days, acquiring its characteristic taste. The cheese is then placed on shelves between wooden poles, where it takes on its colour by being “tanned” by the smoke from the fire. During this time, the cheese changes its structure and becomes hard. After this, the mountain delicacy is ready to eat.

How can you recognise a genuine highland delicacy from a shepherd and not be fooled by a fake? The taste and smell of oscypek is characteristic, i.e. sharp, smoky and salty. Some say that real oscypek creaks when you bite into it!

And one more certainty … you cannot buy oscypek in Podhale in winter! Genuine certified oscypek is produced only in certain months of the year – from May to October, as only then do the sheep give milk.

Every hour

Demonstrations and workshops

Legends and stories

Where did the name oscypek come from?

There are many stories and legends…

Visit our oscypek museum and learn about the incredible legends of oscypek, highlanders and times long past at the foot of the mountains.

Workshops and demonstrations

The Oscypek Museum in Zakopane is a place where you can learn about the history, traditions and production process of Oscypek – a typical Podhale cheese.

In the museum, you can see the authentic tools and equipment that are used to produce Oscypek and learn about its production process. As part of the tour, you can also taste various types of cheese.

The Oscypek Museum is an ideal place for lovers of traditional highland culture.

It is a place that allows you to learn about the history, traditions and production process of the original, real oscypek in Zakopane.



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