HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSTEPERLER – 10 YEARS WITH RAW MILK CHEESE🎉

osteperler
Flags are a natural part of a celebration. Here with cheeses from Bo Jensen.

Today it is 10 years since I posted the first post at OSTEPERLER.NO. It was not all that long, and it was in English. OSTEPERLER started out as «TASTEFUL MOMENTS», has changed to «CHEESE AND YOU» before we ended up as OSTEPERLER, and we’re going to stay OSTEPERLER. Literally speaking OSTEPERLER means «cheese pearls» or more appropriate «cheese gems».

Before launching the site we had decided it should be all about raw milk cheese, more to narrow the scope of the site rather than a strong belief. That belief has strongly grown upon me as time has gone by. It is a belief that will not weaken and is also the reason I say all raw milk is unpasteurised, but not all unpasteurised milk is raw. I think it is an important distinction and do live well with some thinking it is very nerdy.

OSTEPERLER is about raw milk cheese, not all of them, fortunately they are still numerous even though being threaten every day. Not all of them is just a matter of management, it is not possible to keep track or handle, but when I get hold of a raw milk cheese gem, from wherever it hails, I will of course tell you about it.

First in English, then Norwegian and now back to English. English gives me more air to breathe. Naturally there have been ups and downs. There have times when I have decided to close down OSTEPERLER, no real decisions any of them it turns out, but real enough at the time. Sometimes you need to go for a walk and think matters through. Not a gold mine at all, but my purpose has been to teach the world a little bit about raw milk cheese mostly from a hedonistic point of view. What makes cheeses look, taste and smell different. I am not political, I do not ask for samples and it is rare cheesemakers send me any. I am content with that. Gives me an integrity I feel is important.

But as mentioned above, I do have strong views on the matter of raw versus pasteurised. It is about keeping all of milk’s natural elements intact. For flavour, identity, for biodiversity and a lot more I am sure, but also the more natural processes during cheesemaking the better. Cheese is processed milk however you view it, but nature provides all we need to make excellent cheese, so why not just use it?

Thanks for hanging in, and Here’s to the next 10!

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Lofoten, hjemmet til en fantastisk ost i chèvre -stil

Lofoten
Sommersnø fra Lofoten gårdsysteri, Lofoten, Norge

Tusenvis av «pilgrimer» reiser til Lofoten hvert år, nei – ikke for å smake på osten Sommersnø – men for å bestige fjelltoppene, dra på ørn og hvalsafari, drive med rafting, fiske eller meditere i de fantastiske omgivelsene og selvfølgelig nyte den gastronomiske velstanden du er omgitt av uansett hvor du ferdes i området. Sommersnø er en del av sistnevnte. En ost av rå økologisk melk i chèvre -stil laget av et nederlandsk par på Lofoten gårdsysteri.

Sommersnø er en ung ost

Jeg vet ikke nøyaktig når de lanserte osten, men det er bare noen få år siden. Fram til da laget de, og gjør det fortsatt, faste oster, av innkjøpt kumelk fra gårder i nærheten. Disse er alle pasteuriserte, noen til og med med lokal tang, men Sommersnø er laget med melk fra egen buskap på 150 melkegeter og brukes rå. Skorpen er en blanding av hvit mugg ( P. candidum ) og Geotrichum candidum , sistnevnte så typisk for oster i chèvre-stil. Osten er lys hvit, jevn og kremet i munnen. En fin syre, smak av melk og så godt integrert salt at du nesten kan si at det ikke er noen, men det er det. Det er bare en godt utført jobb.

Lofoten
Sommersnø

Lofoten

Lofoten er værhard der den strekker seg ut i Norskehavet nord for polarsirkelen. Et eldorado for marint dyreliv, hjemsted for det berømte skrei-fisket om vinteren. Massevis av midnattssol om sommeren og nordlyslys om vinteren.

Bonden/ostemakerne

Tilfeldighet. Hvor ofte blir ikke retningen i livet bestemt av det? Slik havnet Marielle og Hugo og sønnene deres i Lofoten, via en avstikker til henholdsvis Afrikas Burkina Faso og Filippinene. For å jobbe på gård bare for en sommer. Det var tilbake i 2000, og den sommeren ser ut til å vare ennå..

Bøstad, det er der de holder til og besøkende er hjertelig velkommen.

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High flying Norwegian chèvre style cheeses too look for

norwegian chèvre style cheeses
Three Norwegian chèvre style cheeses: Lille Aske, Myrull and Kubbeost

Three Norwegian chèvre style cheeses today. Not a typical Norwegian tradition this, so the inspiration comes from France. Most of us connect chèvre with the Loire, and of course there is a lot of chèvre made there, but not only. Many excellent chèvres are made elsewhere in France. Within Norway, artisan making of chèvre has only started up with the scope of the last 10 years. The goats are Norwegian milk goat, which is a very healthy race, due to the fact that the complete race was sort of redeveloped in the 1990s, a huge project costing more than a hundred million Euros. The result is as said, a healthy race producing high quality milk and no paratuberculosis among the animals.

Three Norwegian chèvre style cheeses

They are all made within the scope of the same week. Oldest is Kubbeost, a log of about 200 grams. Made up in the valleys in central southern Norway. Lille Aske gained a Super Gold at the world Cheese Awards in London 2017. From the South west of Norway, inland from Stavanger to be very broad. Finally Myrull from the mountain areas south west of Trondheim. Based on the dates they were made, they should have a lot of similarities, but still, they’re from three different small scale dairies.

Lille Aske

The famous one, drier than the others. Slightly runny inside the rind, due to the work of the Geotrichum candidum. Rind somewhat hard for this type of cheese, Covered in ash (aske means ash). Core is beautifully al dente. Clean milk and fine acidity. If you have time to wait, it will give you a small bite at the end. Best as it is, with some honey. Alas, Bo making this cheese, is winding down, not stopping but reducing volumes focusing on the local market.

norwegian chèvre style cheeses
Lille Aske fra Bos ysteri

Myrull

Myrull is a mature, but still fresh, organic chèvre style cheese with milk from their own herd. An even and creamy paste. Well made. Rind is off-white and well integrated with the rest of the cheese. Gentle milk flavour and umami. If you are very sensitive to bitter tones, you might detect some. It’s probably from the rind though. Had a discussion with Sister Noella at Abbey of the Regina Laudis in Connecticut, USA a few summer ago. Not about fresh chèvre style cheeses, but about Geotrichum candidum and the fact they might well give som bitter flavours. So she never eats the rind. G. candidum is very commonly used to form the rind of chèvre and chèvre style cheeses.

Of the three cheese this fares the best on the grill.

norwegian chèvre style cheeses
Myrull fra Grindal ysteri

Kubbeost

From Hallingdal. That’s on the east to west route, or vice versa of course. This log appears fresher than the two others. Could be it is almost double the volume and same age, so it seems more moisture is left in the cheese. It is matured for eight days before being packed and sent off. The curd is rolled by hand and salted. This cheese has a distinct saltiness to it. Apart from that, fresh milk, grass and herbs. Mild and very likeable. Creamy, but also a little crumbly. This makes wonders in a summer salad.

norwegian chèvre style cheeses
Kubbeost fra Rueslåtten ysteri

To drink

I am fairly traditional and prefer a dry white, usually a Sauvignon blanc. But if you’re looking for a variation you have some fine dry whites from the south of France made from the Pine de Picpoul grape. I quite fancy this variation.

Buying cheese

None is available outside Norway, as far as I know.

«Disclaimer»

When I taste cheese I use a form developed by the Academy of Cheese, helping me to be as objective and consistent as possible. But our taste and olfactory systems are not identical, so some are more sensitive to certain aromas or flavours than others, which probably will influence the score. Whether a cheese is good or not, use and pairings is a personal opinion and outside the scope of the tasting form.

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Siste dans – tilbake til begynnelsen

osteperler
Den gode gamle melkespanna

Slik er det, jeg har bestemt meg og legger om bloggpostene på OSTEPERLER til engelsk. Joda jeg har norske lesere, men jeg er av den oppfatning at norske lesere leser bedre engelsk enn lesere i resten av verden leser norsk. Alle sidene her er både på norsk og engelsk, og slik vil det fortsatt være. En del sider gjelder kun Norge, kurs for eksempel, og vil fortsatt være på norsk, men hovedspråket i innleggene blir på engelsk. Erfaring har lært meg at å skrive på norsk for så å oversette til engelsk er veldig tungt.

Det betyr også at det blir mindre fokus på norsk ost, uten at jeg tror norske ystere blir særlig lei seg av den grunn. Det er så mange viktigere kanaler. Det hele startet dessuten på engelsk. Så har det vært norsk og til dels norsk og engelsk i flere år. Denne høsten fyller osteperler.no 10 år så det er en passe anledning. Det sagt, på kursene mine vil jeg ha like mye norsk ost som jeg har hatt til nå og i den grad norske oster har en internasjonal appell, så er jo det viktig å skrive om.

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