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Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Each morning, afternoon and evening, Nicanor and his sons make a cheese of 26 lbs. After milking sheep by hand, the animals are taken out for grazing by one of the boys, while the others are preparing delicious traditional cheese recipes.

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

The milk is carried to a hut (comarnic) for traditional cheese making. Here, Nicanor and his sons will prepare the traditional cheese recipes.

Traditional Cheesemaking Jantita Balmos Urda

The boys pour the raw milk into a wooden barrel with a strainer cloth on top (budacă).

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

To speed up the curdling process, lamb rennet is added while the milk is still warm. It comes from the stomach of newborn lambs, not older than 6/7 days. In 30 minutes, the enzymes will separate the curds and whey.
To remove the whey, the cheese is broken into small pieces with a special wooden tool.

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Then, he puts it in the draining cloth and ties the corners around the curd. It is hung to drain in line with the others.
After 24 hours, the cheese is placed to dry on the cheese stand (comarnic).

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Then, they get things ready for traditional jântița and urda cheese making. They light a cooking fire in the hut. This way, the cheese from the comarnic gets a natural color and a smell of smoked cheese.

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

The fumes escape through the spaces between the logs.

Traditional Cheesemaking – Jantita, Balmos and Urda

Jântiță – A Traditional Creamy Whey Cheese
The whey is drained into a large cauldron.

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

The cauldron is hung over the fire, on an adjustable stand. Nicanor is stirring the whey with a long tailed stick.

Traditional Cheesemaking Jantita Balmos Urda

The boiling water evaporates, leaving creamy crumbs behind. That is jântiță, the favorite dessert of the boys.

Traditional Cheesemaking Jantita Balmos Urda

We ate it with sugar. It has the same flavor as the Croatian cheese pancakes, covered in a sour cream, egg and sugar sauce and baked in the oven.

Balmoș – Cheese Delights made in Bucovina
Balmoșul, a local specialty, is a mixture of polenta and jântiță. The creamy cheese is set again over the fire. To avoid lumps, they slowly add portions of the cornmeal, while stirring. They ladle the mixture continuously, until the butter separates from the cheese, toward the surface. This is it. You can add sour cream, cheese, or a tomato, onion and cucumber salad.

The Romanian Urda is the Italian Ricotta Cheese

Traditional Cheesemaking Romanian Urda

The whey cheese (urda) is a light, low-fat sweet cheese and a good dietary choice. Urda is the Romanian shepherd’s version of the Italian ricotta. Nicanor is heating the whey. To prevent it from sticking to the bottom, one of his sons will be stirring constantly, until cheese lumps will be floating on the whey. Nicanor starts gathering them with a strainer, put them in a draining cloth and hang it.
The fresh air and cheese delights increased my appetite. It was the first time I ever tried these traditional cheese recipes at a sheepfold.


Video Location: Village of Iaslovăț, Suceava County, Bucovina

Traditional Cheesemaking Jantita Balmos Urda

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

Traditional Cheese Recipes from Romanian Villages of Bucovina

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