Thanks to the wonderful Julius Meinl shop in Vienna’s rather ritzy shopping area – I have three more food items to cross off. I could have stuck these onto the end of my previous Vienna post, but I felt that it would work better separated off.
First off, we have a type of bread known in Switzerland as butterzopf. If you just look at it you will probably see resemblances to the braiding of challah and the shine of a brioche. Unsurprisingly butterzopf also shares a lot when it comes to the taste and texture of challah and brioche as well.
This partial loaf of butterzopf was different since it has a warmth to it, like it had some citrus zest and some sort of spice added to it. It was like if you had stollen, but took out the fruit and the marzipan as well as making the texture ever so slightly lighter. In retrospect, this was never going to be a bread to go with these cheeses.
I arrived in Austria with three Austrian food items to find; with this cheese I managed to find the final item on the list. Calling your cheese ‘grey cheese’ is never really going to inspire much confidence in how it is going to look or taste, but the cheese didn’t exactly taste grey.
Actually it reminded me a lot of Harzer in both how it looked and the general squidgy jelly-like nature of the cheese. The taste is salty and immediately pungent… But the lack of any real aftertaste make me want to recognise it as being a mild cheese. The main problem was diminishing returns. The first taste was the best and after that it felt a bit blah and there was no real urge to go back to it after taste number three.
The other cheese that I got was a smoked sheep’s cheese from Poland called Oscypek. This is a cheese with traditions stretching back to the 1400s, which is downright incredible when you think about it. It’s especially incredible when you realise this is something that would have been eaten before potatoes and tomatoes arrived in Europe. Mind blown right?
The first impression is that it is a very smooth cheese. Rubbery even. Actually it was downright fun to stroke it through the wrapping. It also smelt so gorgeously smokey. and you’ll know from my experience of the smokey blue cheese just how much I love a good smoked cheese.
This is a cheese where eating the rind is a key part of the cheese eating experience. The main body of the cheese is like mozzarella in that it is creamy, has a slight tang but no real strong flavour. All the smokiness exists in the rind. Put them together and something magical happens. I do think it reminds me a lot of the generic processed Bavarian smoked cheese – but this has so many more nuances and (for me) is preferable.
So this properly ends my time in Vienna. I can’t quite believe that I have been to New York, Rotterdam, Lisbon and Vienna within two months. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to have done this. Of course, it is going to be a while since I am on my travels again (money, amirite?), but I cannot wait to see where I am going to end up next!