Olestølen mikroysteri – the tiniest dairy

The invitation was rather impersonal, it was a short Facebook post from Olestølen mikroysteri with a picture showing someone’s been there to make cheese and take pictures, and a general invite for anyone else to come if they so wanted.
Well, I jumped at it. Not that often I have the opportunity to make cheese. Last time was back in February this year, and before that in July last year, Cato Corner Fram, CT, the USA that was, actually. I do occasionally invite myself and from time to time get accepted. But I am a modest man, so not often I am brave enough to ask. That said, I have made cheese a few times, so I am starting to get at grips with it, but most cheese makers have their own routines, so some surprises do occur even though I more or less know what’s up next. All this said, the cheesemaker responded politely and wished me most welcome to the mountain farm/chalet where she and the herd of 35 goats resided during summer. Milking and cheesemaking starts early, so I accepted her offer to arrive the night before.

olestølen mikroysteri
Mrs. Kathrin Aslaksby, cheesemaker at Olestølen.

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The Transhumance of Beaufort

Beaufort. I put a piece in our fridge and I am actually amazed it’s still there. Respect perhaps. Beaufort is probably the best alpine cheese there is, so you don’t grab it from the fridge just like that. Not a bad word about other French alpine cheeses, or Swiss or Italian for that sake, they’re all good, but Beaufort is special.

Beaufort
Massive fjell i Savoie hvor Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage kommer fra.

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Alsace is more than Munster

If you haven’t been to Alsace yet, you ought to go there. Especially if you enjoy the rustic German culture, but in Alsace handled with French elegance. They are funny the Alsatians, they pronounce the H in front of words, like in Clos Ste Hune for instance. Or Hugel. Not very French.
Most people visiting this area in the very north east of France, bordering Germany, go there to visit the small picturesque villages and vineyards on the plains east of the Vosges mountain range. Can’t blame anyone for doing just that. Have done it myself, many times.
Anyway, if you’re on tour, be it cheese or wine, it is convenient to stay in Colmar.

Alsace
Cheese and a glass of beer at a local café in Alsace.

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Gamle Oslo Delikatesse – a gem in Oslo

This has got to be the smallest deli in Oslo, even the smallest shop altogether. Above the entrance there is a sign telling GOD, which you may interpret the way you want, in Norwegian god means good. The explanation is however clearly outlined right beneath. There is something WYSIWYG over this shop. Or rather what you see is what there is. No backroom, no basement. A cooler, shelves, a work bench with some cupboards underneath and a sink. That’s it.

Gamle oslo delikatesse, a small but very good deli
Gamle Oslo Delikatesse – small but excellent.

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Two Days in Bra, Italy

It turned out to be two hectic days in Bra. But up until I arrived in Bra, it was a long and tiresome journey that ended well in spite of some Italian lack of structure along the route. I flew in to Turin and must admit it’s not the center of the world. There is a bus service from the airport to the city center, but it also serves as a local buss service, but actually did call on the train station where my train to Alba was parting from. I don’t speak Italian and the Italians don’t speak English; it’s not much more you can do other than fold your hands and hope for the best. Arrived in Alba in good shape and walked the ten minutes it took to my Bed and Breakfast where my arrival came as nothing less than a surprise. But I had my confirmation, so who had to move out, I do not know, but I moved in. Thee was a wait while everything was arranged, during which I was cordially served both wine and a bite. One happy family, but again, no English spoken. Not that I expect everybody to speak English just because I happen to speak it, but I find it somewhat practical, after all. Douce Maison is absolutely recommended if you are happy with a fair standard, clean rooms and a central location across the street from the main church in Alba; ready to be woken up by the church bells at 7 am every morning.

A stream of people at Cheese 2017 in Bra.
A stream of people at Cheese 2017 in Bra

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