There is no in between with this “cheese” and I put “cheese” in quotation marks to lend the idea that some do not refer to it as such. It actually is a product made out of whey. Nothing at all like ricotta. Just to set the record straight.
I have been a Gjetost (pronounced “yay-toast”) fan for many years….long before I married the cheesemonger. It is an accquired taste…almost along the same lines of liking provel. Gjetost (as we know it in N. America) literally means “goat cheese” in Norwegian. The Norwegian name brunost (the name used on the other side of the Atlantic) means ‘brown cheese’. Over here it is referred to and sold as gjetost, which is an older spelling of geitost that is no longer frequently used elsewhere. Now…with that all straightened out…let’s talk about how wonderfully delicious this cheese is. Gjetost is made by boiliing a mixture of milk, cream and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel which gives the cheese its characteristic taste. It is ready for consumption as soon as it is packed in suitable sized blocks. A low-fat variant is made by increasing the proportion of whey to milk and cream..but let’s be honest, it’s not as good. I found a great recipe for making gjetost in your own kitchen. I have yet to try it but looking forward to it.
I did a little jig this afternoon when trolling my local grocer to find it in the cheese section. Simon turned his nose up at the sight of it…but I am happy. I couldn’t wait to get home and dig in. I prefer mine on toasted bread or naan/pita. I also like it with apples or pears. It has a decidedly unique nose….some refer to it as fishy. I smell the caramel…but I also smell the pungent “barnyard” of the goat’s milk. It very thick on the tongue and is best served in light curls from a cheese plane. I chunk would be just too much in your mouth…like a heaping spoonful of cold peanut butter or rich fudge tasting of caramelly goat cheese….not too pleasing in that respect.
It has a great nutty quality and silken texture when cut right…I have yet to find a good wine to pair it with…but I do enjoy it with beer. A dark stout or a strong lager. It is a wintery cheese in my mind…but I do eat it all year long. I have been playing around with making an apple/gjetost pie. I wonder if Cupcake Project would be willing to brainstorm with me…Stef is good at this sort of thing…
I have found it at Global Market and Whole Foods in St. Louis….here in AZ it was at Basha’s.