Observations on Vlach sheep-milking and milk-processing in south-east Europe

Michael L. RYDER

en Anthropozoologica 20 - Pages 3-10

Published on 01 February 1995

Observations mode on traditional sheep-milking and milk-processing during visits to transhumant sheep flocks at their summer mountain grazings in south-east Europe between 1974 and 1985 are presented. The principle regions of Vlach pastoralism that were studied were in the Carpathian mountains of Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The summer settlements comprised several enclosures for sheep and one or more huts for accommodation and cheese-making. The milking enclosure had a figure-of-eight plan, the constriction between the two halves being roofed to form the milking shed. Details are given of the customs, implements, milk products and their terminology. Hard and soft cheeses were made at the seulement and the whey produced after the formation of the curd was made into sweet and sour drinks, the remaining "lean whey", being fed to pigs kept for the purpose.


Carpathians, Cheese, Milk, Sheep, Summer settlements, Transhumance, Vlach, Whey drinks.

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