Hutsul polonyna – the shepherds who make cheese in the mountains

May 11, 2012

During the stay in Sheshory, we decided to take a guided hike to the mountains to visit the hutsul shepherd house, where they make traditional brynza cheese. The area is called polonyna (the field on top of the mountain or a hill) and the path to it runs trhough the forest and you have to walk up on your own two.

The forests are breathtakingly beautiful! It’s a very clean area, you can drink tap water and eat freah-picked berries.

We hiked for some 40 minutes or so. And on the top we saw this:

There is a tradition you have to follow: to enter the shepards’ house you should bring a loaf of bread, salt and say something similar to “God bless your home, please let us come in”.
These guys live there in the warm season (5-6 months) and once it gets cold they go down back to their homes in the village. They take their herd with them and sell the cheese for living.

These are the first two stages of the cheese (called “first cheese” – yellow and “second cheese” – white), the third cheese is the actual brynza. These wonderful hospitable men invite you to share the food with them – the taste is very interesting. We bought some cheese from them (600 grams = €4,5) and shared it with our families back home.

This field looks very small from the village – you can see it on the picture (the lonely tree in the middle of the picture is the spot)

The whole tour (car ride, the hike itself, chese tasting and the guide support) was 50 UAH for two (~€5). I strongly recommend trying this hike if you happen to be in the area!

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