Cheese with everything: amazing cheeses and delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!


It’s no secret that Central European dishes can be, well, a little on the rich side — and that’s definitely not a complaint! But what is more delicious and decadent, comforting and homey, than the MVP of all dairy: CHEESE? With apologies to our lactose-intolerant friends, is there a more versatile ingredient on the planet? From breakfast to dinner and appetizers to dessert, cheese plays a starring role in many delicious dishes from across the region. From crumbly to creamy, sweet and mild to sharp and tangy, cheese is also enjoyed perfectly well all on its own… but, pairing it with a fine Hungarian wine certainly doesn’t hurt. Why not bring a bit of Central Europe to your next charcuterie board? Let’s take a look at some of the signature cheeses of Central Europe and explore recipes to put some ooey, gooey goodness on your summer menu!



Tiroler Almkäse (Tyrolean Mountain Cheese) - Austria

Made exclusively from the milk of cows who graze all summer on the verdant grass and aromatic herbs of the Alpine region, this hard cheese has a strong, piquant flavour and aroma.

Mondseer - Austria

This smooth and creamy Austrian cow’s milk cheese has a slightly sweet flavour and pale yellow colour. It is a key ingredient in several popular Austrian dishes!

Vorarlberger Bergkäse - Austria

Another delicious Alpine product, this cheese is aged for up to two years. Tangy and so intense in flavour you can taste the grassy, herbal notes or Alpine cow’s milk. It is the perfect cheese for the Austrian version of mac and cheese, Käsespätzle.

Abertam - Czech Republic

This bold Czech cheese is quite acidic and tangy with a dense texture. Wonderful for melting, it works great in fondues or grilled cheese sandwiches. Pair it with a dark beer or a sweet wine.

Jihočeská Zlatá Niva - Czech Republic

This cow’s milk blue cheese is produced in Southern Bohemia and features a salty, potently aromatic flavour profile and is always sold as a wheel.

Olomoucké Tvarůžky - Czech Republic

This popular, soft and somewhat chewy cheese is formed into stick or ring shapes or can be rolled into a log. It’s pungent aroma depends on how long the cheese is left to mature.

Basa (Lički Sir, Lička Basa, Lika Cheese) - Croatia

This delicate and creamy cheese made from the milk of buša cows is deliciously spreadable and fits just as well on a charcuterie platter as it does smeared over piping hot baked potatoes.

Bjelovarski Kvarg - Croatia

This savoury handmade cheese is made with a special mix of cow’s milk and aromatics like paprika and garlic. It is then smoked and dried to extend shelf life and imbue a slightly acidic smoky flavour.

Paški sir - Croatia

This sheep’s milk cheese originates from the island of Pag. The unique microclimate and the herbs upon which the Pag sheep feed infuse their milk with a special flavour that shines in this tangy, salty, crumbly cheese. Matured for a minimum of four months, this cheese is rubbed with ash and olive oil to prevent it from becoming too dry. Serve with wildflower honey, grapes, and cured meats, or top your pasta dishes with a generous amount of shavings.

Lajta - Hungary

This pungent Hungarian cheese features a creamy texture with a potent tang that pairs well with full-bodied wines (i.e. Pinot Noir) that can stand up to it’s bold, slightly gamey flavour. 

Bryndza Podhalańska - Poland

This fresh, soft cheese is only available from May to September, when it is made from the milk of Polish mountain sheep. With a robust and slightly tangy flavour, it pairs wonderfully with dry white wines.

Gołka - Poland

A special cheese from the Silesia, this smoked cow’s milk cheese is placed in wooden moulds to create its distinctive cylindrical shape and signature pattern on the rind. Smoky yet delicate, this cheese is excellent to enjoy with bread, dried fruit, and preserves.

Oscypek - Poland

Made exclusively with the unpasteurized milk of Tatra sheep, high in the Polish mountains, this salty and acidic cheese has a nutty, smoky flavour that is excellent for grilling and tastes wonderful paired with blueberry or cranberry preserves.

Wielkopolski Ser Smażony - Poland

This unique processed cheese is made only with fresh ingredients and fried according to a traditional recipe dating back to the 18th century. With an elastic texture and intense taste, it can also be found studded with caraway seeds.

Bohinjski sir - Slovenia

This firm, nutty, and aromatic cheese is produced with raw cow’s milk and is similar in its flavour profile to Swiss emmental cheese.

Tolminc - Slovenia

This semi-hard cow’s milk cheese is matured for a two month minimum and features a grassy aroma and can range from sweet to slightly peppery in flavour.

Ovčí Salašnícky Údený Syr - Slovakia
This traditional Slovakian cheese is made with unpasteurized sheep’s milk in the mountains of the Slovak Republic. Smoky yet mild, it is delicious paired with strong beers and or potato dumplings.

Slovenská Bryndza - Slovakia

This soft, moist sheep’s milk cheese is wonderful for spreading and features a sour taste with salty, piquant notes. It also happens to be the main ingredient in bryndzové halušky and bryndzové pirohy!


Now that we’ve met our starting line-up, let’s take a look at some incredible cheese-based dishes!

For a delicious appetizer, why not try nakládaný hermelín — Czech pickled cheese! This salty treat involves marinating a wheel of creamy cheese with aromatics like garlic, onion, paprika, your choice of herbs (thyme or rosemary work well), and olive oil. Although the traditional method involves marinating the cheese at room temperature, it can be stored in the fridge to prevent the cheese from spoiling. Serve it with some pickled veggies of your choice and, of course, a good Czech beer, and you have yourself a dish that will transport you to the best pubs in Prague!


Another dish that is great for snacking comes from Hungary, where körözött — a tasty Hungarian cheese spread — is often on standby in the fridge for whenever the mood strikes. A blend of cottage cheeses, paprika (naturally), onion, and caraway seeds, this delicious spread is easy to throw together and perfect when smeared over delicious crusty bread and served with juicy ripe tomatoes or Hungarian wax peppers.

Similar to the Hungarian körözött, the Polish gzik also features a tasty mash of cottage cheese, this time flavoured with alliums like chives or onions, and lots of finely chopped radishes for a peppery kick! While traditionally made with a Polish farmer’s cheese known as twaróg, you can easily use a small-curd cottage cheese and mix in a bit of Greek yogurt or sour cream to bind it all together. Spread it over some crusty buttered rye and you have a fantastic on the go breakfast or add a generous dollop to baked potatoes for a filling side dish.

While a few weeks ago we explored two other delicious cheese dishes — Smažený sýr (Czech Fried Cheese) and the traditional Hungarian Túrós csusza — there are plenty more cheese-centric dishes to put into your dinner rotation. Known as topfenknodel in Austria, syrove knedliky in the Czech Republic, turos gomboc in Hungary, and kluski in Poland, cheese dumplings are a favourite all over Central Europe. While the exact ratio, ingredients, and methods vary from region to region, the general recipe involves mixing together a hearty amount of soft cheese, flour, and egg for binding, forming the mix into balls, and gently cooking them in boiling water until light and tender. Check out our companion recipes to find your perfect Central European Cheese Dumpling recipe!


Looking for a comfort food to rival even the most indulgent mac and cheese? Try out Croatian cheese strukli! This amazing dish is like a cheesy dumpling and creamy white lasagna rolled into one divine stick-to-your-ribs meal. Start by making a quick homemade pasta dough. Then put together a delectable filling of cottage cheese, shredded cheese of your choice, sour cream, and eggs. Roll out and divide the into four equal rectangles, stuff with your rich, cheesy filling, and roll into for neat bundles. Nestle the parcels of dough into a baking dish and then cut each log into quarters. Cover with cream or half and half, more cheese, and bake to golden perfection!


Perhaps saving the best for last, we couldn’t possibly forget about dessert! Yes, cheese has a place here too. If you’ve never tried a traditional Polish cheesecake, you’re missing out. Sernik is served pretty much everywhere in the country and can be found in all sorts of mouthwatering combinations. Instead of the cream cheese and graham cracker base popular in North America, Polish cheesecake often features a delicate sponge base and is traditionally made with twaróg (farmer’s cheese) that is both light and rich but always delicious!


Not a fan of cheesecake? Czech kolaches might be more up your alley! These tender rounds of soft pastry dough feature a decadent centre of cream cheese and fruit filling, sometimes with the addition of streusel. Perfect for a morning treat with a strong cup of coffee or your afternoon tea.

For one last sweet treat idea, why not try baked Croatian Palačinke Crepes stuffed with sweetened cottage or ricotta cheese? This is a great dessert for a crowd and even makes a mouthwatering breakfast dish! Get creative with the filling and try chocolate, nut, or fruit-flavoured fillings.

Until next week, happy eating!

Companion Recipes & Resources


Central European Cheeses


Hearty Dishes 


Appetizers, Dips, & Spreads




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