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Take it cheesy – Transylvanian cheese specials

A trademark of Transylvania (Sibiu-Brasov area) is cheese, that has been carefully, and lately, ingeniously prepared. If you only have an eye for supermarkets, look for Nasal cheese (that can only be produced in the Taga cave!!!), La Colline, Telemeaua de Ibănești and Torockoi.

Brânza de Țaga (also known as Nasal; branza = cheese), a traditional Romanian product, is a soft cheese from fermented cow’s and sheep’s milk. It only matures in unique microbiological conditions in a natural cave in the Țaga village, Cluj county.

Brânza de burduf is a dense and pasty fermented cheese, traditionally produced for centuries in mountain sheep pens. It is placed in a tube made of sheepskin or stomach, pig or buffalo bladder, even tree bark sometimes. It is a classic on the Romanian market, however, the original branza de burduf made from sheep milk according to an authentic recipe is not so common anymore.

Burduf cheese in tree bark; photo:
Cheese varieties on Transfagarasan

In Brasov area, in the Saxon village of Rotbav, three brothers started their golden business: they’ve been producing burduf cheese (acknowledged as the best cheese in the Balkans), 100% natural. They also manufacture burduf cheese in fir-tree shell, so as it ages in the tube over a couple of months, the cheese becomes more pungent, absorbing the bark’s resins to get piney flavour. Unfortunately, they are too busy working, so they aren’t visible in social media.

In case I made you curious, head to a public market in Brasov area. Sometimes, you can find it in the small tourist market outside of Bran Castle.   

If not, check here: or

Telemeaua de Sibiu is a widely spread type of cheese, but we are talking here about the original one, registered at the European Union, bearing a hologram label, which certifies its origin.

Telemeaua de Sibiu is a semi-hard cheese, produced from fresh, unpasteurized raw sheep’s milk, by enzymatic coagulation with curd. It exists both fresh and matured, and has a distinctive pleasant taste, discreetly sour, salty, which after tasting leaves an unctuous sensation.

Although telemea is produced largely in Romania, it is said that the quality of pasture in Sibiu area gives the cheese its distinctive touch.

Sibiu telemea with hologram; facebook: telemea de sibiu oficial

On the other hand, should you find yourself more adventurous, have a ride to Mesendorf for their fancy style ripe cheese and atmosphere.

Mesendorf 65
County: Brasov

Mesendorf – in the maturation cellar: maturated cheese with grape juice and shell
The house of Mesendorf cheese;

Like so many others, Oana and Adrian gave up their hectic life in the capital for some peace and quiet in Transylvania. But the serenity of the landscape is undoubtedly addictive, so the couple moved for good to Mesendorf before even knowing it. Since then, they’ve been manufacturing various types of ripe cheese, cooking and are great hosts for anyone willing to cross their threshold.

They redecorated the barn as tasting place for cheese and nut liquor.

Cheese with red wine (in the ripening process)

All the milk comes from a Romanian breed of cow from a neighbouring family, thus the entire manufacturing process is simple to control, making sure everything is clean. The maturation process lasts from 3 months (the youngest) to over a year and the cheese incorporates amazing flavour from wild garlic, chives, black truffles or hay; we only speak organic here, while the wine and beer needed for maturation comes from small producers in the area.

Mesendorf: cheese maturated in hay

If your mouth is already watering and you’d like to buy some matured cheese, it is best that you personally enjoy Oana and Adrian’s hospitality, or run to Ograda in Brasov, or GetBeget in Bucharest.

If the weather permits, they can also send you some.

Cheese is a Romanian trademark. So, if you visit Transylvania, no trip would be complete without authentic cheese tasting.

Indulge yourself!

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