Queen of Snacks

By Nachammai Raman

Published on March 18, 2019

It looks like a block of peanut butter, but gjetost is cheese, even if it is brown and sweet. Meaning "goat cheese" in Norwegian, gjetost (pronounced YAY-toast) is made by caramelizing whey left over after removing the curds from goat's milk. Whey, which has been a part of the Norwegian diet since the Viking Age, is boiled until thickened, and then placed into molds to harden. Pure goat's whey cheese has a salty, burnt sugar taste. The most popular whey cheese in Norway, however, named Gudbrandsdalsost for the Gudbrands Valley, where it originated, has only 10 percent goat's whey; the rest is cow's whey, milk, and cream. The brand available in the U.S., called Ski Queen Gjetost, has a mild caramel flavor. In Scandinavia, it's added to sauces for reindeer and other game, and it's great, too, for fondue. Like Norwegians, though, I enjoy it best sliced and simply served on crispbread.

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