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JULY 2008

JULY, 2008

 Swedish Blues

Skärvången and Brostorp

Sweden has a lot of cheese. They, along with the other Scandinavian countries, account for half of all European cheese exported to the US. Much of this cheese is mild, which is ok for sandwiches, but otherwise not all that interesting.

In a market in Göteborg I was happy to find two blue cheeses made by artisan cheese makers. The first is Blå-Ädel, made by Skärvångens Bymejeri, a small diary farm and cheese maker run by all of 22 people. This cheese was creamy and very tasty. The rind was a bit spicy in a bad way, so we cut that off before eating the rest.

Skärvången also makes a cheese called Surströmmingsosten (soured herring cheese). Surströmming is herring that is fermented in barrels, then canned. As the tinned herring continues to ferment, the cans bulge. That's how you know it's ready. The herring has a very strong taste, an even stronger smell, and many people do not like it. The cheese itself contains just 14% surströmming so the taste should be much milder. I hope to try it the next time I visit.

Brostorps Ostar Blåmögel was slightly larger and a firmer cheese than the Blå-Ädel. It had a somewhat milder blue flavor, and was firm enough to slice easily. They also make a soft cheese called Vitmögelosten Josefine.

posted by KRASK  July 28, 2008 11:06  Monday Cheese  comments (3)


Camembert D'Isigny

Napoleon ate it every day. French troops received it as a daily ration during WWI.
It's been made since the late 18th century but may not survive in its original form.

Camembert, the cheese that unites France, has traditionally been made from raw, unpasteurized milk in Normandy. Many countries, like the US, have completely outlawed young, unpasteurized cheese so authentic Camembert cannot be found. Even in France, multi-national corporations make pasteurized Camembert claiming that traditional methods are too complicated and costly. Some producers micro-filter their milk before being made into cheese and even Isigny Saint-Mére has sought to change the rules as to what constitutes a real Camembert de Normandi.

There are only five producers of unpasteurized, unfiltered, Camembert left in France, and of those, only one is in the city of Camembert itself.

Is there really a difference in taste between raw and processed? Some claim you can tell what the cows have been feeding on in different times of the year by the taste of the cheese. Others find little difference. I sure don't know.

I've yet to find Camembert de Normandi, but I did get a micro-filtered Camembert from Isigny Saint-Mére, a cooperative that has been in business since the 1930's. Despite being filtered, it was quite good, with a somewhat nutty flavor and a tangy finish. I'd buy it again, but I'm still looking for the real thing.

posted by KRASK  July 10, 2008 16:07  Monday Cheese  comments (0)


Two new tracks have been posted, Splitsville and Paranoia Machine. Also, there's a new flash player that allows you to download the mp3s if you want (right click on song title).

posted by KRASK  July 03, 2008 10:00  Music  comments (0)

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