Culture & entertainment
Brzegi Tourist subregion: Krakowski
Type of entertainment attractions: Other
Almost every year, cyclists racing during Tour de Pologne at a dizzy speed pass by the shepherd’s hut in Brzegi belonging to Andrzej Rzepka. Tourists travelling by car should definitely slow down, if they do not want to miss an opportunity to taste genuine, certified oscypek.What is the secret of oscypek?After milking, milk is first poured through a linen cloth to puciera, i.e. a wooden vat. Due to this, even blades of grass are filtered. Then, milk must be heated up and klog i.e. rennet must be added. Currently, bacowie use synthetic rennet. In the past, rennet was derived from dried stomachs of calves which have not eaten grass yet. After about an hour, we have a uniform mass of cheese which must be crushed and squeezed again. “Water” which is left after taking out cheese is żentyca. Such a process takes place in each certified shepherd’s hut along the Oscypek Route. Also in the hut of Andrzej Rzepka, where his wife, Janina, is said to rule with an iron hand. Baca, when asked about it, says that he “has heard nothing of it” but feminine touch may be seen even outside. The hut is “very beautifully furnished” and inside tourists may get both delicious, traditional oscypki and also those white, unsmoked oscypki. Baca from Brzegi takes care of 250 sheep and is helped by juhas and two sons. Andrzej Rzepka learned under the supervision of his father, with whom he worked not only as juhas but also as baca. Now, he does not have to be concerned about the continuation of the tradition, as the young are attracted by work at grazing. So, he can expect that the fire in the hearth of his koliba will keep on burning for many long years.