All Norwegians know brunost. Wherever in the world you may travel, there is no taste on the globe quite like it. As one of our nation’s most iconic foods, the distinctive caramel flavour and rich tan colour call back to rich and evocative memories of home. Understanding the real Norway isn’t possible until you’ve tried a slice – ask any Norwegian and they’ll tell you. In many ways, it is our national cheese. Deeply rooted in Norwegian soul, it is an important part of our gastronomical and cultural identity and heritage.
Brunost may mean ‘brown cheese’ but it is unlike any other cheese made. In the first step, we separate the curd used to make traditional cheese, and save the whey. We boil this whey and then mix with a special blend of creamy cow and goat’s milk.
In step two, the blend is boiled in big kettles to dissolve the sugars and caramelise. The warmed mass is roughly the texture of caramel, sweeter than a colder cheese and very special. How long the mixture is boiled determines how dark and rich the colour of the cheese will be. Once dissolved, the mixture is filled into separate bags and allowed to gently cool so the sugars crystallise. This process is managed with exceptional care to ensure the crystals don’t become too large or form too quickly.
The resulting mixture is left to chill in bags, wrapped and ready to be enjoyed - no maturation process needed. The result is a fudgy, intensely flavoured ingredient with plenty of versatility - you can enjoy it classic and sliced or as an irreplaceable addition to plenty of Scandinavian recipes.
With thousands of Norwegian expats choosing to face adventures outside of Norway, there are few things for Norwegians that provoke a feeling of home quite like brunost - they’d be more than happy to share a slice with you.