Cheese is a food that almost everyone enjoys. Nearly every country on earth has created its own variety of cheese, each with a unique taste, preparation process, and application. Although the history of cheesemaking is chronicled in murals found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs more than 4,000 years ago, the origins of cheesemaking are unknown. Cheese is become a delicious staple of daily meals. Let’s look at a few of the cheeses that begin with the letter O as there are so many varieties to try.
1. Olomoucké Tvarůžky
Soft Olomoucké tvarůžky cheese is named after the Czech city of Olomouc. It has a powerful flavor, a characteristic yellow hue, and an intense aroma. Since the fifteenth century, skimmed cow’s milk has been combined with flavorings in the surrounding villages to create this cheese, which is then formed into discs and allowed to mature. Since 2010, the European Union has classified Olomoucké tvarůžky, together with its preparation process, as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
Many people liken Oltermanni to a less-sharp Muenster or a milder, less salty havarti.The pasteurized cow’s milk used to make Oltermanni in Finland gives it a smooth, nearly spreadable consistency. It’s frequently eaten with wine, fresh fruit, and rye bread. For easier spreading, Oltermanni is available in both sliceable rounds and tubs.
Oázis is renowned for its strong, smokey flavor throughout all of Hungary. This cheese is smoked after being formed into six-pound blocks from cow’s milk. Oázis can be found in stores as blocks or slices, which are ideal for incorporating into any meal that requires a taste boost.
This unusually formed cheese, which dates back to 1416, is exclusively found in the Tatra Mountains of Poland. Since 2008, Oscypek’s recipe and production process have been registered under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Cottage cheese is made from salty sheep’s milk and repeatedly strained and rinsed until the solids are all that’s left. After pressing the contents into long, oval-shaped shapes, shepherds immerse the cheese in brine for a night and smoke it over a hot fire for up to two weeks. The outcome has a sweet, salty, and smokey flavor. Oscypek mixes wonderfully with cranberry jam or lager.
While Oscypek and the Slovakian Oštiepok are quite similar, there are several important differences. First off, the greatest time to make Oscypek is in late April or early October, when the sheep have the best access to fresh mountain grasses and yield the best-tasting milk. Oscypek must weigh between 132 and 176 pounds, be between six and nine inches long, and contain at least 60% sheep’s milk.
A cheese like this is created in Slovakia, on the other side of the Tatra Mountains. The EU’s PDO distinction also protects the trade name Oštiepok, however industrialization has broadened the meaning of the term. Oštiepok is traditionally made from sheep’s milk, which is sometimes referred to as half-fat. Using heat and rennet — a solution of enzymes that stimulate the curdling of milk — the curds are separated, pressed into an egg-like shape, rinsed, then steeped in a brine and smoked for two to three days. Oštiepok’s flavor complements white wine or beer with its distinct tang from the salt, smokiness, and delicate but savory finish.
There is less information available regarding Oštiepok’s production details. But because to technological advancements, oštiepok is now produced by commercial dairies using alternative methods as well as by shepherds using the old-fashioned manner. These days, some Oštiepok are prepared entirely of cow’s milk, or half sheep and half cow milk. Additionally, certain types aren’t smoked.
In 1893, Canadian Trappist monks in Quebec improved the recipe for Port-du-Salut cheese and created a new batch.The Oka cheese, so called because it was formerly a monastery, has solidified Quebec’s position as Canada’s leading cheese producer. Oka, a cheese made from cow’s milk, is distinguished from other commercial cheeses by its light flavor of fruit and nuts, as well as by its strong scent and creamy texture. The majority of Oka types are still created using the traditional recipe and matured in the ancient monastery’s cellars.
Originating in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Oaxaca cheese is renowned for its incredible elasticity. A sort of string cheese was initially introduced to the region by Dominican friars, but Oaxaca has made it uniquely its own. Oaxaca cheese is a white, low-fat cow’s milk cheese that is stretched in a manner like to that of mozzarella to give it its distinctive texture. The mildly salted flavor of Oaxaca cheese goes well with squash blossoms and corn mixes in quesadillas and empanadas.
From Ireland’s sheep, Orla is robust and earthy, fitting into many different categories. The ageing period of this cheese determines its texture, which can range from semi-soft to firm. Heat and unpasteurized milk are used in orla manufacturing to encourage coagulation. For a maximum of six months, it is aged and compressed into discs. As Orla ages, its flavor becomes more pronounced, exhibiting undertones of salt and the caramelized sugar taste of sheep’s milk.
Ossau-Iraty continues to cling firmly to its historical foundation. Only sheep milk from the Basco-béarnaise, Red-face Manech, or Black-face Manech breeds is used to make Ossau-Iraty, which is made in the French Basque area. Instead of being cooked, this cheese is manufactured by pressing. This cheese is one of just three sheep’s milk cheeses to have received the French designation of appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), which honors the traditional production techniques as well as the particular locations that are essential to the product’s success. Ossau-Iraty’s flavor, which is a result of a six-month aging procedure, is described as being at once fruity, nutty, and herbaceous. It has a smooth, firm texture.
10. Obruk (Divle)
Obruk is a vestige of a vanishing custom in south-central Turkey. One of the few cheeses that is still matured in a sheepskin or goatskin sack is this one, which is made in the village of Divle (now called Üçharman).Divle Obruk uses goat and sheep milk that has been curdled with rennet and heated. After being gathered and allowed to rest for many days, the curds are bathed to lessen their bitterness. After pressing the moisture out with rocks, the curds are placed into a special sack and left to mature in a cave outside of the settlement. The same mold strain used in Roquefort is used in finished Divle Obruk, giving it a crisp top note that mellows into hazelnut, sweet grass, and caramelized garlic.