The representation of raw milk cheese in grocery stores is a very Norwegian issue. I’ve performed sort of a status check locally, knowing the Oslo area is different from the rest of the country, probably. Grocery stores in this context means supermarkets. If you’re hunting cheese from raw milk, the discount stores, representing some 60 per cent of the grocery market, is a meager place to look. Of course, there is always a pre-packed Parmigiano Reggiano. Even a Grana Padano in some of the stores if they need a somewhat cheaper variety.
The selection of raw milk cheese
Perhaps one of the more important observations, apart from the actual cheese assortment, is that the selection of cheese is depending on how eager the cheese department manager is. My experience tells me some grocery stores base their selection on a need to have basis, while others offer a wide selection to really please their customers. Part of this is ignorance. The less knowledge you have, the more scary it gets to offer a wide selection of raw milk cheese. Unfounded of course.
There are generally three different raw milk cheeses you can find everywhere. That is the Italian Parmigiano Reggiano, and the two French cheeses Roquefort and Brie de Meaux. It’s at least something, but no diversity.
Then you can always say, the market rules. If there is no demand, no point in offering anything either. It ends up with a discussion what came first, the hen or the egg. What about trying to introduce something new and not so known, and that way expand the selection one cheese at the time. Make an effort. There is a lot of consumers interested in cheese, that is something I experience every day here at OSTEPERLER.
That being said, most Norwegian supermarkets offers a wider selection than mentioned above. You will probably find a Gruyère and a Comté. Grana Padano. Then there is sometimes Appenzeller, Emmentaler, Morbier, even a Reblochon. All very good cheeses. A small cheese plate. You do not really need more than two or three cheeses.
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Any Norwegian cheeses?
Norwegian raw milk cheese is, with a few exceptions not very well represented. Unfortunately. You can find the odd cheese, but rarely a selection. The selection of pasteurised Norwegian cheese, and foreign for that sake, is however much wider. As my domain is raw milk cheese I leave the pasteurised ones to others.
A cheese plate from the grocery store?
Possible? Yes it is, even for me that is slightly on the nerdy side when it comes to choosing cheeses. Remember, you do not need that many. Pure Norwegian? It would take a few stores to collect the ones I want. A local cheesemonger could of course help me out, but that is not what I wanted to pinpoint this time.