I was born in the Czech Republic and lived there for over 25 years. If you've ever been to Prague, you may have noticed that almost every pub offers a Czech speciality: "Pickled Cheese", at least that's how most of the locals translate what is known as Nakládaný Hermelín. Since "pickling" usually requires vinegar to be included, the correct term for this recipe should be "Marinated Cheese".
It may not sound appetising but I can assure you it's absolutely delicious! It's a type of camembert marinated in oil and stuffed with onion, garlic, herbs and spices. The marinating takes between 1 to 6 weeks, depending on how mature the cheese is. The more mature (softer) it is, the less it takes to marinate. I personally prefer using hard, mild cheese and marinate it for at least 2 weeks. Marinating deepens the flavour of the cheese and makes it soft.
How do we Czechs eat this cheese? Best with freshly baked bread and a glass of beer! Although there is no low-carb substitute for beer, you can use my Ultimate Keto Buns instead of bread and wouldn't even notice the difference. A serving of Marinated Cheese is enough for a full meal and ½ serving is great as a satisfying snack!
Nutritional values (per serving):
|of which Saturated||22.8||grams|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (3.9%), protein (16%), fat (80.1%)
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
- 2 large or 4 small packages Camembert (500 g / 17.6 oz) - you can also use Brie or goat cheese of "camembert type"
- 1 large onion (150 g / 5.3 oz)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 cup pickled chili peppers - I used green and bell chili peppers (120 g / 4.2 oz)
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp thyme, fresh or dried
- salt to taste (I like pink Himalayan)
- extra virgin olive oil - as much as you need to cover the cheese up, can be reused
- Fido jar - you can get them on Amazon
Most of the oil is used only for marinating and is only included partially in the nutrition facts. Spices that are only used for infusing (peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme) are not included in the nutrition facts. Most of the oil is only used for marinating - I estimated 2 tablespoons of olive oil per serving.
- Clean and dry out the Fido jar. Cut all the pieces of Camembert widthwise.
- Peel and crush the garlic and slice the onion. Spread the garlic on top of all the insides of the cheese. Sprinkle with paprika, salt ...
- ... add onion slices and top with the other half of the cheese.
- Place the cheese in the Fido jar and add the bay leaves and whole peppercorns. Try to arrange the cheese as close as possible to avoid using too much olive oil to cover the cheese slices up. If needed, cut the cheese in half to fit it in the jar.
- Add the thyme and pickled chili peppers and any leftover onion.
- Top with the extra virgin olive oil until the cheese is covered. Shake the jar to get the air bubbles out. The chili peppers can be partially exposed but make sure the cheese is covered completely. You can reuse the oil for your next batch - just add more if needed. Close the Fido jar and keep it away from direct sunlight at room temperature for 1-6 weeks. Shake every 2-3 days to get the air out. The air will escape through the rubber lid while no oxygen will get in, thus there will be no risk of failure.
- The time depends on how mature the cheese is. If it's already soft, it may take as little as 5 days. If the cheese is mild, it will take approximately 2 weeks to marinate and soften. Once ripen and soft, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve with the pickled chilis, onion rings and my Ultimate Keto Buns.