Type: soft, artisan
Flavour: mild, salty, strong, tangy
Synonyms: liptovská, liptovska, Brinza
Alternative spellings: Slovenská bryndza, Bryndza Podhalańska, ovčia bryndza, Slovenska bryndza, Bryndza Podhalanska, ovcia bryndza
Bryndza is a sheep's milk cheese popular in several mountainous countries of Eastern Europe, especially in the Podhale region of Poland and Slovakia. The name Bryndza comes from Wallachian, the Romanian word for cheese.
There are three types of Bryndza, each prepared differently, thus giving the cheese a characteristic texture, taste and colour. Slovenská bryndza and Bryndza Podhalańska were registered in the EU as PDO cheese in 2008 and 2006. One more variety of Bryndza contains only sheep's milk and is called liptovská or ovčia bryndza.
The Slovak variety of Bryndza contains 50% sheep's milk, and the Polish variety of Bryndza contains 60% sheep's milk. In contrast, 100% sheep's milk is used to make liptovská or ovčia bryndza, the least produced variety of Bryndza.
The texture, flavour and colour of Bryndza depend on how it is made. Generally, the cheese is salty and crumbly if common salt is used, but some producers add saline solution to make it salty, changing the texture to soft and spreadable. The cheese is white to grey in colour, tangy and slightly moist. The flavour graph starts from slightly mild to strong and then fades with a salty finish. Bryndza is the main ingredient in bryndzové halušky, the national favourite of Slovakia.