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 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. Both Slovenská bryndza and Bryndza Podhalańska have been registered in the EU as a PDO cheese in 2008 and 2006, respectively. There is one more variety of Bryndza that contains only sheep's milk and is called liptovská or ovčia bryndza.
While the Slovak variety must have 50% sheep's milk to account for protected designation, 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 are dependent on how it is made or prepared. Generally, the cheese is quite salty and crumbly if standard salt is used but some producers add saline solution to make it salty, which then changes the texture to soft and spreadable. It is white to gray in colour, tangy to taste and slightly moist. The flavour graph starts from being slightly mild to going strong and then fading with a salty finish. Bryndza is the main ingredient in bryndzové halušky, the national favorite of Slovakia.