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Gavin Greig [userpic]

Gjetost

May 23rd, 2009 (01:09 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

I bought some Norwegian cheese for a game this afternoon, and I think it may have been a big mistake…

I went to a maths conference in Norway back in the mid 90s, and remember having some slices of some sort of brown cheese (yes, brown) for breakfast. For a cheese, it was unusual – it was sweet, with a caramelly flavour – but very nice.

Oh, but I think I must have been fed the wimpy tourist version!

I saw some Norwegian Gjetost [Wikipedia] for sale in town this morning and thought, “Ooh, never seen that in the UK, we’ll have some of that!” Having got home I tried a sliver.

It really was a thin slice, but I can still taste it, and in this case that’s not a good thing. Imagine a block of processed cheese for the slightly plasticky impression when cutting it; a sliver comes off without crumbling or squishing. The mouth feel is a bit like fudge, smooth, soft and a bit cloying. The flavour – a strong, savoury caramel that’s an odd mixture of salt and sweet.

I’ve had a quick look online to see how it’s usually eaten, and the trick seems to be to take it in small quantities with another strong flavour – apples, coffee, or strong sausage. Looks like using it on a pizza is also an option. As all of these are available, we’ll see how it goes, but I fear it isn’t going to be a hit.

Apparently gjetost (literally “goat cheese”) is a particular type of brunost (brown cheese). It’s a mixture of leftover whey of cow’s and goat’s milk, or just goat’s milk, that’s boiled until the lactose caramelises – so the caramel element of the flavour is explained.

I expect the local Anster cheese and the Prima Donna Maturo are a bit more accessible. I suspect I may find myself looking for a way to get rid of the gjetost.

Comments

Posted by: Nik Whitehead (sharikkamur)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)

Your description of the physical properties of the cheese had me laughing aloud - you have also managed to perfectly describe the standard texture of Icelandic cheese. The Icelandic cheeses don't have such a strong taste though, which I why I'm one of the many folks who bring things like real cheddar back to the Rock with them.

There is at least one brown Icelandic cheese as well that I've tried which did have a stronger flavour than the everyday cheeses; it may be the cultural equivalent.

Might I suggest handing it to qidane as a way to get rid of it? I'm sure he could come up with something.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Vacant Podling

Replying from the game. Luckily qidane and flybynightpress are a bit better disposed towards it than I am, so they'll probably go home with a chunk each.

When I was looking it up originally, I found something that suggested there was indeed an Icelandic equivalent, though the name began with an "m" I think - can't really look at the moment.

Posted by: silverwhistle (silverwhistle)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Unicorn Lady

How is it on toast?

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Vacant Podling

Don't know. So far we've tried it with boiled poatoes and with sausage, and it does calm it down a bit - still not for me though.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 25th, 2009 07:18 am (UTC)
Dundee

You can get it at the cheesery (http://thecheesery.co.uk/) in Dundee too. I quite liked the one they had. Genna had loved it as a kid in Norway.

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