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