Sometimes tourists and even locals experience cultural shock when it comes to Ukrainian cheese: apparently, here “cheese” always means “cottage cheese”! It often happens in pastry shops and supermarkets, especially in Western Ukraine. Sure enough, not everything is that crude. That’s why Destinations prepared a guide on the best dairies where you can buy real Ukrainian cheese in all its varieties.
Селиська Сироварня / Selysʹka Dairy
This dairy is rightfully considered one of the most popular cheese producers in the West of Ukraine. The history of Selysʹka dairy dates back to 2002 when a group of volunteers from the Longo Maï cooperative initiated a project in a small Transcarpathian village called Nyzhnje Selyshche. Up to date, more than 200 families from Nyzhnje Selyshche and neighboring villages supply the dairy with milk. The quality is thoroughly controlled: each supplier is checked and all cows feed exclusively on natural nutrients. Moreover, two of six cheesemakers have completed an internship in Switzerland and now contribute to the industry in Ukraine.
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Selysʹka dairy produces three types of cheese: semi-hard & spicy Selysky, soft and sweet & spicy Hust, and a semi-hard bitter & spicy Narcissus of the Carpathians. All three types can be bought in Eco Lavka shops, cheese.zp.ua, as well as the dairy’s Facebook page.
Золота Коза / Golden Goat Farm
A unique craft dairy founded by the Orlovsky family is based on the Golden Goat Farm in Pokrovka village. Their products might interest those who are fond of goat cheese: here only 100% goat milk is used for cheese making to satisfy the needs of those allergic to cow milk. Up to date, the farm is a home for more than 400 goats of 4 breeds, which ensures the broad variety of product. To name but a few, classic soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert, Greek feta, as well traditional Ukrainian Brynza are all available here. Products by Golden Goat Farm are available in Good Wine, MegaMarket, as well as for individual orders on the dairy’s website.
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Коза Чка / Koza Chka
What is now a private and respected dairy located in Zhytomyr region was once a homemade cheese production founded by Tatiana Diadechko. The process of cheese making is veiled with mystery, as the dairy uses special homemade recipes. All cheesed by Koza Chka are free of vegetable fats, preservatives, and other harmful supplements.
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The production covers cow cheese like Ukrainian Brynza and Georgian Suluguni, as well as soft goat cheeses with cinnamon and almond. Besides, Koza Chka offers 12 types of yogurt with various flavors from classical caramelized apple to spicy pepper. The production is available for order on the dairy’s Facebook page and in Kyiv cheese shop Koza Chka.
Motherfarm Eco Farm
The small eco-farm located in Mali Lysivtsi village is especially popular with conscious consumers: any preservatives, pesticides and other chemical supplements are not used here. Besides, the process is kept traditional — all products are based on natural fermenting. The “classical” range of dairy products from cheese to milk and yogurts is represented in vegetarian Eco Farm shop in Vyshneve, as well as on the farm’s website. The unaged Indian Paneer and Italian Ricotta are among the most popular picks.
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Семеро Козлят / Seven Young Goats
Seven Young Goats cheese is produced on the Makovetskyi khutir in Kyiv region and up to date are one of the most represented Ukrainian cheesemakers in large supermarket chains. It’s not surprising given that the brand is the first certified manufacturer of goat milk in Ukraine. Here cheese lovers will find international ‘classics’: Georgian Suluguni, English Cheddar with paprika, Lebanese soft cheese Labneh, Halloumi originating from Cyprus and many more. The wide variety of Seven Young Goats products is available in GoodWine, MegaMarket, Silpo and Billa supermarkets in all regions of the country.
Photo sources: Facebook pages of businesses mentioned above, shutterstock.com, unsplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.