Gjetost is a Norwegian fudge-like cheese that belongs to the Brunost family of cheese-related foods, which are made with whey, milk and/or cream. Being made from whey, Gjetost (pronounced yay-toast) is technically speaking not a cheese.
Some members of the Brunost family contain only cow’s cream and/or milk, however Gjetost (literally meaning ‘goat’s cheese’), contains some proportion of goat’s milk. The unusual taste and brown colour of the cheese are the result of the natural caramelization of the sugar in milk (lactose) that occurs during the food’s production process.
Brunost is regarded as one of the Norway’s most iconic foodstuff and can be hard to source in the UK. We have discovered it at International Cheese in Victoria train station, and I’ve also recently seen it at the cheese counter in Waitrose. There are also recipes for home-made Gjetost online, which I’d like to give a go.
The fist time we tried it we were quite unsure what to make of it, it’s mild smelling and doesn’t quite taste like a cheese and is not entirely sweet either. It’s so unusual, and yet fascinating, Tim’s still not entirely convinced but I love the confusing flavour and texture combination and the way it sticks to the roof of your mouth.
This post shares five ways in which you can enjoy Gjetost cheese.
- On its own: Simply cut into small cubes allows you to enjoy the unusual fudginess of the cheese.
Interestingly, when the cheese has been left at room temperature for a few hours it takes on a different flavour than when it is first taken out of the fridge. When allowed to warm, it softens and the primary flavour is fudge, followed by the cheese taste, whereas the opposite is true at colder temperatures.
2. Melted on toast: By melting onto toast you get the predominant soft fudge flavour and a wonderful soft, warm gooey texture.
3. Melted into a fondue: By adding sugar, cinnamon, and heavy cream into a fondue pot with gjetost and some cognac or vanilla you can reach a wonderful smooth fondue. Full instructions can be found here, serve with banana and any fruit that takes your fancy.
4. Cheesecake: For a truly Norwegian treat, this recipe from the Nordic Nibbler for ‘Norwegian Baked Cheesecake with Brunost-Pecan Caramel’ looks like a real winner.
5. Homemade Brunost ice cream: In a delicious mix of vanilla with salty, caramelised ‘cheese’, this recipe for homemade Brunost ice cream sounds amazing. Not unlike salted caramel ice cream and with notes of burnt sugar it has to be worth a try.
If you’re a cheese fan you can learn more in our interview with cheesology here.
How do you enjoy Gjetost? Leave a comment below.
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