Brunost – Brown Cheese

Sliced and easy-to-use package of brunost. Photo by Ken Li-Hsieh

By Ken Li-Hsieh    

Have you ever seen Norwegians going out for a picnic or a BBQ, or just taking the T-Bane with their matpakke (packed meal) in hand? Chances are, there will be a slice of brunost in their simple yet nutritious packed meal.

One of the most famous traditional Norwegian foods, brunost, or brown cheese (literally and visually), is definitely worth a try after you arrive in this magnificent country, Norway.

It is made out of whey, a dairy product from whole milk, and it is the liquid remaining after the milk has been curdled and strained. While boiling whey with milk and cream for several hours, the milk sugar will slowly caramelize, the water will gradually vanish and turn the mixture into a solid-state ready to be served. It is usually thinly sliced and served with waffles, rye toast or crispbread.

Brunost is regarded as healthy food because of the high content of iron, calcium and B vitamins, and the specially-designed cheese slicer used to cut brunost as thin as possible is also regarded as a symbol of one of the Norwegian virtues: moderation.

Do you want to get a taste of this legendary Scandinavian food? In Norway, dairy manufacturer “Tine” offers several different types of brunost to explore and these brunost products (including huge family pack or already sliced, easy-to-use small package) can be easily found in most supermarkets such as KIWI, Bunnpris, MENY, and ICA. Ranging from pure milk, mixtures of goat’s and cow’s milk to pure goat milk, and also concerning the different ingredient ratio, the flavors of various kinds of brunost is definitely a sensation journey for your taste buds to experience!

Finally, for people who are willing to experience the taste of brunost, but still want some more description about how it tastes, here is a list of dramatically different feedback by international students after tasting brunost:

“Cheesy and a bit sweet flavor, not bad.”
“Can we call it a type of cheese?”
“I can give mine to you, whole package for free, I only took one piece out of it…”
“It tastes like peanut butter to me…”
“It’s sweet with slightly salty taste,  flavorful! I like it!”
Have you already tried out this legendary Norwegian food? Leave your feelings and describe how it tastes in the comment section!

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