Cheese

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.

Osteperler goes back to its roots and turns English again

osteperler, cheese gems
Cheese buckets the old way

Osteperler started out in English as “Tasteful moments”, and cheese does absolutely represent some tasteful moments. But I changed the name as I turned the site into Norwegian with English as a partly side language. Now I plan to turn Osteperler around again writing in English with raw milk cheeses from around the world as my playground. That said, they will be mostly European as here is where we find most of the raw milk cheeses of the world. But, North America does have a fair and seemingly increasing share.

It’s been ten years since I started out, in a month or so at least so I thought it was time to make a change. That’s partly also my nature.

So what does osteperler mean, exactly? Literally speaking cheese pearls. Pearls in this context in Norwegian will probably be the same as a gem in English, so the translation would be cheese gems.

Osteperler will also be a good site for sourcing Norwegian cheese gems, up and coming as they are, twice World Cheese Awards winners, 2016 in San Sebastian and 2018 in Bergen. Very well done for a relatively young cheese nation, at least from a modern cheese making aspect. Norwegian farmstead cheese deserve a place at the international cheese platter, so my hope is to contribute to that happening, both here and physically helping the cheese makers out. Norwegian cheese is so much more than Jarlsberg, which is not a Norwegian cheese unless you buy it in Norway, and the somewhat exotic brown cheese. Jarlsberg is absolutely a Norwegian cheese brand though.

So far I have also made some videos in Norwegian, I plan to start making some in English as well. They will be posted here as appropriate, and at my YouTube channel. Thursday evenings I do a streaming, in Norwegian, and so it will be.

Want to check out a little more about me or osteperler? Go here or here.

Valentine’s Day, two cheeses and..

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Two in one – the Beauty and the Beast – Langres

Valentine’s day really only needs two cheeses. And a glass of Champagne of course. Or a bottle, after all you’re two. In Norway some think celebrating Valentine’s day is stupid, but I think many enjoy it. Sending cards, buying flowers, and the like. It is a fairly new tradition here, imported as it is. Same with halloween, by the way.

So what better way to celebrate and have an enjoyable time than having som good cheese? With something equally good in the glass; sparkling of course on such a day. It is a Thursday, but who cares, almost Friday anyway and for some the week-end have probably started. That’s the directions yhe work week is turning. Or is this a trend only in this affluent, small country up here in this northern corner? Whatever, it’s time to buy some cheese, suppose the booze is already in the fridge.

Read more about St. Valentine here

Langres from Champagne

Or Champagne-Ardenne to be exact. Yellow to orange in colour and with a very wrinkly rind. A delight to look at. And with this very characteristic crater on top, appearing because the cheese has not been turned during maturation. “All” cheese, except this one, is regularly turned while they age. To make then even. well this crater can of course be used for some good purpose, like pouring some champagne into it, and that way infuse the cheese. That’s a party trick. Then you have some champagne in the glass and some in the cheese. That’s charming. Adding the cheese is even and creamy, it is only surpassed by Neufchâtel on such a day..

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Neufchtâtel – perfect for Valentine’s day

Another hearty cheese. Neufchâtel, perhaps?

It’s sweetie this minute cheese from Normandie in France. Neufchâtel comes with both a history and good flavours. Not as famous as some others of the cheeses from Normandie, though. Ideal for Valentines Day of course. because it’s an excellent cheese, but also because it oftentimes is heart shaped. Silky texture with a fine taste of dairy. leave it for a little while on your kitchen counter and it becomes runny. Quite sexy if you ask me.

And the rest? The rest is up to you.

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