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Gourmet Guide to Czech Marinated Cheese:

A Local Pub-Favorite Recipe


a traditional Czech beer snack of pickled camembert cheese which you'll try on our Prague Beer & Tapas Tour


Amid the bustling pub scenes of Prague lies a culinary gem that’s both intriguing and delightfully savory: Nakládaný Hermelín, or as some might call it, Czech marinated cheese. This creamy, Camembert-like cheese, marinated to perfection, is a testament to the Czech Republic’s love affair with cheese. It’s not just any pub food; it’s an experience, blending the creamy texture of the cheese with a medley of spices and aromatics.


Nakládaný Hermelín: A Culinary Adventure

The journey to discover Nakládaný Hermelín might start with curiosity but ends with a profound appreciation for Czech culinary traditions. The first taste of this marinated or sometimes referred to as “pickled” cheese can transform any skeptic into a lifelong fan. And despite what the name might suggest, rest assured, it’s not cheese that tastes like pickles.


a wonderfully served traditional Czech pickled cheese


Where to Find the Best Marinated Cheese in Prague?

For those on a quest to savor the best Nakládaný Hermelín in Prague, the journey leads to the iconic Lokál. This beloved restaurant chain has garnered acclaim for its dedication to Czech culinary traditions, serving dishes that resonate with authentic flavors and homely comfort. Lokál’s marinated cheese is a standout, perfectly encapsulating the creamy, savory, and aromatic qualities that make this dish a must-try. With its cozy ambiance and commitment to quality, Lokál offers not just a meal but an immersive experience into the heart of Czech pub culture.


Crafting Your Nakládaný Hermelín

The heart of this dish lies in its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. Starting with a base of Hermelín cheese, similar to Camembert, the cheese is then layered with a rich blend of garlic, onion, and spices including paprika, rosemary, thyme, and for the adventurous, a hint of ginger and chilies for that extra zing.


Marinating to Perfection

Patience is key when marinating the cheese. Depending on its ripeness and the temperature of your kitchen, the marinating process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. For peace of mind and safety, marinating in the refrigerator is recommended, although traditional methods often involve room temperature curing.


a close up of a traditional Czech marinated or pickled cheese served with pickled chili peppers


What You’ll Need:

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
  • Fresh grated ginger and sweet paprika for a burst of flavor
  • A wheel of Brie or Camembert cheese as the centerpiece
  • Thinly sliced onion and chili pepper for layers of taste
  • Bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice berries for aromatic depth
  • Extra-virgin olive oil to bring it all together


A Step-by-Step Guide to Marinated Cheese Mastery:

  1. Combine the garlic, ginger, paprika, and salt into a flavorful paste.
  2. Horizontally slice open the cheese wheel. Smear the inside of one half with the prepared spice paste, then reassemble the cheese wheel.
  3. Layer the bottom of a sterilized glass jar with some onion and chili slices, a bay leaf, and a sprinkle of peppercorns and allspice berries, then pour a base layer of olive oil.
  4. Position the cheese inside the jar, cutting it into smaller pieces if necessary to ensure a snug fit.
  5. Top the cheese with the remaining onion and chili slices, another bay leaf, and the leftover spices. Fill the jar with olive oil until everything is fully submerged.
  6. Refrigerate for a minimum of three days to allow the flavors to infuse into the cheese, though you can let it marinate for up to four weeks for deeper flavor development. Before serving, allow the cheese to reach room temperature for 20-30 minutes to soften.


Serving Your Marinated Cheese: When served in Prague pubs, Nakládaný Hermelín comes accompanied by an assortment of pickles and chili peppers, offering a balance of flavors that’s hard to resist. Pairing it with rye bread makes for a classic Czech experience, enhanced with a Czech pilsner to complete the culinary journey.


a close up of Czech marinated cheese served in a local pub with pickled chili peppers


Diving into the rich, savory world of Nakládaný Hermelín at home brings a slice of Czech pub culture right to your dining table. While this marinated marvel is traditionally enjoyed in the convivial atmosphere of Prague’s pubs, creating it in your kitchen allows for a personalized touch to this beloved dish. Whether you’re gathering friends for a themed dinner party or seeking to expand your culinary horizons, marinated cheese offers a delectable glimpse into the heart of Czech gastronomy. Remember, the joy of this dish lies in its simplicity and the fusion of flavors that evolve over time, making each bite a testament to the timeless allure of Czech cuisine.

And if you’re a true cheese lover, you might also be interested in another cheesy Czech specialty – the one and only fried chese, or Smažený Sýr. Check this one our and other favorite recipes on our blog!


March 5, 2024