Food

Photo: wikimedia | Norwegian brunost

British–Australian pop-rock guitarist, vocalist, pianist, and composer Paul colman tastes Norwegian brown cheese Brunost and shares his experience.

Brunost or mysost is a caramelised brown whey cheese. The main Norwegian names mean brown cheese. Another variant, made using goat milk, is referred to and sold as geitost (Norwegian for “goat cheese”) or sometimes elsewhere as gjetost. Geitost is made from a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk, and ekte geitost (real geitost) is made with goat’s milk only.
Brunost is made by boiling 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 brown colour and sweet taste.

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Photo: Jon-Eric Melsæter

If you have been to Norway or got chance to hang out with a Norwegian patriot, you may understand what brown cheese (Geitost) means for people in Norway. It may not be the most delicious cheese for non-Norwegians with its unique taste but if you know how to serve it, you may change your mind. Here are some examples:

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Photo: Robyn Lee

In Norway, Pinnekjøtt is a main course dinner dish of lamb or mutton. Pinnekjøtt is a festive dish typical to Western- and Northern Norway, and is rapidly gaining popularity in other regions as well. This dish is largely associated with the celebration of Christmas, served with puréed rutabaga and potatoes, beer and akevitt. The preparation of pinnekjøtt uses a traditional method for food preservation utilizing curing, drying and in some regions also smoking as means of inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms. Although lamb is today available fresh or frozen all year round, pinnekjøtt is still prepared both commercially and in private homes due to the flavour and maturing the preservation process gives to the meat.[4] In home preparation of pinnekjøtt, racks of lamb or mutton are cured in brine or coarse sea salt. Once sufficiently cured, and when the weather is cold enough, the racks are hung in a cool, dark, well ventilated place to dry.

Ingredients

1 1/2kg sheep ribs

2 turnips/swedes

2 carrots (optional)

20 Potatoes

1/4 ts ground nutmeg

4 liters of water

Method

Cut ribs lengthwise between each rib. Place in cold water overnight.

Steam the meat on sticks of birch (without bark). You may also use a metal grating placed in the bottom of a saucepan any fish pot. The water should be level with the ground. Add the lid and allow the meat to steam for 2 – 2 1 / 2 hour until it separates from the bone. Add more water if necessary. Make sure it does not go dry.

The meat should be put under the grill for about 20 minutes before serving to make it crispy.

Serve turnip stew and potatoes with the meat.

Turnip stew

Boil turnips and any carrot slices.

Mash and season with salt, pepper, or a little ground nutmeg and butter or a little of the fat / juices from the meat.

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Wikimedia

Gløgg is served after heating and mixing with some nuts and rosiner.

When the Christmas table is set, eyes seek for this special drink. Gløkk is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various spices and raisins. It is served hot or warm and may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions of glögg can be bought ready-made or prepared with fruit juices instead of wine. The main classic ingredients (of alcoholic gløgg) are red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy.

Throughout Scandinavia, gløgg spice extract and ready-mixed spices can be purchased in grocery stores. To prepare gløgg, spices and/or spice extract are mixed into the wine, which is then heated to 60-70°C. When preparing homemade gløgg using spices, the hot mixture is allowed to infuse for at least an hour, often longer, and then reheated before serving. Ready-made wine gløgg (and low- or non-alcoholic varieties) is normally sold at groceries all over Norway, ready to heat and serve, and not in concentrate or extract form. Gløgg is generally served with raisins, blanched almonds and Ginger biscuits (Ginger Snaps), and is a popular hot drink during the Christmas season.

If you would like to do it from bottom on your own, here is a practical recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle red wine

80g caster sugar

1 big stick cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

10 whole cloves

5 cardamom pods

1 piece dried Seville orange peel

Dash of cognac or rum (if desired)

Flaked almonds or raisins, to serve

Method

Pour the wine into a saucepan and add the sugar, spices and orange peel.

Heat until the mixture is hot but not boiling (around 80°C – anything hotter and the alcohol will start to evaporate).

Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for an hour or more.

Strain the spices then reheat if necessary. Add a dash of cognac or rum if desired for extra warmth.

Serve in small cups, with a teaspoon of flaked almonds and raisins added.

Recipe courtesy of Bronte Aurell at Scandinavian Kitchen

Photo: Wikimedia

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