There were not as many people clamoring to guess at the answer to this secret street food as there for for smalec, but nonetheless it is fantastic, fabulous and pretty flipping delicious. It’s osctypek with cranberry sauce!
Let me just explain this to you, I promise you’ll be convinced. Smoked cheese – sorry, let me start again. Fried smoked cheese – halloumi-like texture with a wonderful smoked flavor similar to smoked Gouda. Cranberry sauce – tart and slightly sweet offsetting the salty cheese. All on a tiny plate with a little toothpick ready to be popped in your mouth and savored as you meander through Gdańsk market.
Osctypek is, as I mentioned in the lead up to this post, a protected trade name within the EU, so the cheese can only be called osctypek if it comes from the Tatra Mountain region between Poland and Slovakia. Slovakia has its own version of the cheese, called oštiepok. It supposedly dates back to the 15th century and the first known recipe comes from the 18th century near the Żywiec region of Poland. It’s made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk, with the possible addition of cow’s milk but apparently that is strictly regulated.
There are stalls with griddles everywhere selling this pressed and ornately shaped cheese fried and deliciously oozy, holding its shape yet still melted inside. Salty, but balanced with a tart cranberry sauce drizzled over the top for complete perfection in a mouthful. I love Poland.