3 New Ways with Hermelín

Ahead of 2014’s event, recipes from past winners of the Great Cheese Showdown

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 11.06.2014 10:22:55 (updated on 11.06.2014) Reading time: 4 minutes

WIN: To win the cookbook mentioned in this article plus a spot on the jury of the 2014 Great Cheesedown Showdown, click here.

A Czech delicacy with a lot of devotees (and detractors), traditional nakládaný hermelín, rounds of creamy cheese soaked in flavored oil and typically served with rye bread, has been around since the early 20th century when this Czech version of French camembert was introduced.

No matter what your stance on soft and oily cheeses, foodies will certainly appreciate the artistry on display at the 8th annual Great Cheese Showdown (Velká sýrová nakládačka), on June 17 at Containall. This year’s theme “Say it with hermelín” asks participants to express a local, global, or personal message via their cheesy creations. Fifteen contestants will compete for the titles of “Tastiest” and “Best Looking” nakládaný hermelín.

Spectators will be treated to cheese tastings, hermelín products for sale, premium wines, a raffle, and music by Radio 1. Prominent jurors include young up-and-coming Czech chef Martin Škoda.

The organizers of the event are themselves hermelín enthusiasts. Iva Bartošová and Kateřina Suchá will also be using the occasion of the competiion as a book launch party for the publication of their cookbook, Velká sýrová nakládačka, on sale at the event for a special price.

3 New Ways with Hermelín

Says co-author Suchá, “This will be the highlight of the event. The book, the first of its kind about hermelín, includes not only 50 recipes for nakládaný hermelín put tips for grilling and spreads.”


Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 70m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 70m2

Gočárova třída, Hradec Králové

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 50m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 50m2

Gočárova třída, Hradec Králové

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 62m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 62m2

Sladová, Plzeň - Východní Předměstí

Office for rent, 79m<sup>2</sup>

Office for rent, 79m2

Pospíšilova, Hradec Králové

When asked to speculate on the cheese’s local popularity Suchá ventures a logical guess: “Because it goes so well with Czech beer?”

These recipes, all winners from Great Cheese Showdowns past, are perfect for a summer picnic or backyard bbq. Find additional hermelín-inspired recipes here.

Stuffed Hermelín with Fresh Dill
Recipe by Jakub Homolka and Honza Přikryl

3 New Ways with Hermelín

4 hermelín
1 large yellow onion, diced

1 bunch of dill, chopped plus extra sprigs for garnishing
ground carraway, to taste
1/4 cube of butter, softened
8 cloves of garlic (half for the filling and half for marinating)
pinch of chili powder
ground pepper, to taste
2-3 small peperoncini
mild oil of your choosing for the marinade

1/ Slice each cheese round in half and carefully scoop out the soft inside so only the rind is left. In a small bowl, mix the cheese with onion, half of the dill, carraway, softened butter, half of the garlic, chili powder, and black pepper to taste. 2/ Fill each hollowed-out hermelín with the cheese mixture and reassemble into 4 whole pieces. Place in a jar with a wide opening, cover with the oil, and seal the lid. Carefully shake the jar to coat the hermelin with oil. Open the jar and sprinkle in the remaining dill and garlic and the peperoncini. 3/ Reseal the jar and place in the refrigerator for 2-2 1/2 weeks. Serve sprinkled with fresh dill.

Middle Eastern Inspiration
Recipe by Šimon Pánek

3 New Ways with Hermelín

4 hermelín
Packet of Indian spice mix (or combination of curry, chili, thyme)
1 dl red wine
Red currant marmalade
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Jar of baked pickled peppers
Sunflower oil, to cover
Salt and pepper, to taste
Golden melon, to serve

1/ Slice each hermelín into three rounds. Lay the cheese on a flat surface. Rub each slice with the spice mix and drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons of red wine. Cover each slice with a layer of marmalade, top with a sprig of rosemary, and reassemble the rounds. Insert two toothpicks through the hermelín so that it stays firm. 2/ Place the cheeses, one by one, into a jar with a wide opening, topping each round with peppers until the jar is filled. Surround hermelín with remaining baked peppers. Cover with sunflower oil. Seal the jar and let the cheese marinade for 3 days in the refrigerator and 3 days at room temperature.

3/ Serve in the center of a plate surrounded by golden melon slices that have been sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Next Level Hermelín
Recipe by Kateřina Saparová

3 New Ways with Hermelín

4 hermelín
Spicy red curry paste (such as Tomato and Cumin from Patak’s)
1/2 l sunflower oil
1 bunch spring onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of Czech garlic
3 bay leaves
5 large balls of new spice

Cherry tomatoes, to garnish

1/ Slice cheese rounds in half. Rub one side of each with the curry paste and stack in a jar with a wide opening. Cover with sunflower oil and sprinkle with onion, garlic, bay leaves, and new spice. 

2/ Seal with the lid and refrigerate for 9 days. On the tenth day, remove from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 1-2 days, keeping out of direct sunlight. 3/ Now the hermelín enters the next level! Remove a wedge (as pictured), sprinkle with a generous dusting of turmeric, and a side of cherry tomatoes to approximate the classic Japanese arcade game Pac-Man.

Have you got a favorite recipe for this Czech classic?

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