Nakládaný Hermelín: Czech Marinated Cheese

Anthony Bourdain famously called Prague “the land that vegetables forgot.” While that’s a bit of an unfair assessment, it is true that Czech food tends to be heavy on the dumplings and meats, and breaded fried cheese is a real dish. (By the way, if you’ve ever spend a winter here you’d immediately understand why the cuisine is so hearty).

But there is much more to Czech cuisine than knedlíky (dumplings), vepřové koleno (roasted pork knee), and pivo (beer). Among other local treats, there are delicious pastries, savory soups, Moravian wines, and a delicious marinated cheese called nakládaný hermelín.

Nakládaný hermelín is cheese soaked in oil and spices. It’s traditionally served as pub food, but it’s also great as an appetizer or as picnic fare. In the Czech Republic, this dish is made using hermelín–a soft cheese that originates from Central Bohemia. However, it can be easily substituted with brie or camembert. It’s tasty when eaten on its own or when paired with bread.

Here’s my take on this classic Czech snack. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient to your liking.

What you’ll need

  • Mason jarMarinating cheese
  • Hermelín, camembert, or brie cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, sliced
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Black pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried red pepper, crushed
  • Jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • Paprika
  • Salt

Preparation

making nakladany hermelin

  1. First, sterilize your Mason jar. (Herb & Lace’s Kate shares some helpful instructions here).
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until they are softened. This is a precautionary step to avoid any food safety issues that can arise from combining raw garlic and olive oil.
  3. Cut the cheese into approximately 1″ cubes.
  4. In a bowl, combine the black pepper, thyme, dried red pepper, jalapeños, paprika, and salt. Stir until the spices are evenly mixed
  5. Add the cooked onion and garlic; mix.
  6. Add the cheese to your spice-veggie mixture and stir until the cheese is coated.
  7. Add everything to the Mason jar.
  8. Generously pour olive oil into the jar so that the cheese is covered. Close the lid tightly and shake to ensure an even distribution of oil, cheese, and spices.
  9. Refrigerate for about five days.

Then, serve and enjoy!

6 comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Camilla, this looks incredibly delicious. I bet you could experiment with loads of different flavour combination. I’ll let you know when I give the recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brian says:

    I just had this in a small pub in Brno Czech Republic. They had sliced the cheese into flat pieces instead of cubes. This food was a long time favorite of a Czech colleague I was with. The dish was one of the highlights of my week there (along with the amazing beer).

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