Cheeses of eastern Europe

I was perusing the cheese stand at my local grocery store and found some Bergland “Transylvanian Romanian Cave Cheese” which was cured in a salt mine. I couldn’t resist. It is quite nice and is similar to a well aged cheddar. nice and sharp and almost brittle. Cut from a wheel 3" thick into wedges only 1" thick at the butt. Easy to break off, you don’t need a knife. It is great slabbed on a Premium saltine or with a Fuji apple.

I realized I have never tried any eastern European cheeses before. I visited the CAM (Cleveland Asian Market) out in Northfield which also has a small Russian/European section. Lots of butters from various countries and sausages and smoked fish. But no cheese.


I have long wondered this, why Eastern Europe seems to ignore hard/aged cheese and simply focuses on very simple, fresh cheese, Romanian Cave Cheese excepted. Real cheese making tradition seems to stop somewhere in Germany/Switzerland. I have had many conversations about this with friends, but no coherent thesis has emerged.