Olomouc Aged Cheese

Written by Patrik Chvatal

Category: Czech Tradition

Olomoucke tvaruzky or olomoucke syrecky is a Moravian aged cheese made from low-fat milk. Production is traditionally connected with the region of Hana in the 15th century. Nowadays, production is connected also with the city of Lostice, where tvaruzky have been made since 1876 by a company called A.W. Tvaruzky has a magnificently spicy taste, and a very strong smell. The surface is typically yellowish, while the heart of tvaruzky is usually white and really soft.

History

The first known mention comes from the 15th century when tvaruzky was a part of the daily diet of people in villages. The name Olomoucke was added to note the market place in Olomouc where tvaruzky was sold. The original word “tvaruzky” comes from the word “tvaroh,” which is also made in the process, and is similar to cottage cheese. However, the majority of tvaruzky is produced in local villages under the name selské tvaruzky, or rural tvaruzky.

The production in Lostice began with Mr. Josef Wessels and his son Alois Wessels in 1876.
It spread after the first World War, when the company employed 36 employees and became the biggest in this field. In 1902, the School of Milk was built in Kromeriz, where people studied to be specialists in the cheesemaking field. At the school were courses for women called “tvaruzkarky“ and was built the “fake tvaruzkarna“ to present how it works. After 1948, the production dropped and nobody invested in the company. In 1991, the company was given back to the children of the original owner, and they immediately started with production again. In 2010, tvaruzky earned the signification from the European Union that they are protected by law.

Production

Tvaruzky were traditionally made by women who were called “pleskacky”, and they were using wooden tools called “klapacky.” The principle of the production still remains the same as it was in the 15th century; however, some of the manual work was replaced by machines. First, there is low-fat tvaroh, which is salted and aged. After that, the tvaroh is ground and shaped into barrows, garlands, or sticks, and left to age again in drying rooms. After that, they are cleaned, and the cleaning removes the candidas on the surface, allowing for new bacteria growth.

The final aging takes place on the drying grids. When the tvaruzky are ready, they are collected into boxes and kept two days longer before their eventual journey to the shopping centers or shops.

Olomoucke tvaruzky in Lostice

There is a Museum of Olomouckych tvaruzku in the first building where tvaruzky were made in Lostice. You can see there the original process of making them in Hana. In Lostice, the shops and confectioners offer Postulkovy tvaruzkove moucniky – a salty and sweet dessert made with the tvaruzky, among other interesting meals.