A sweet caramel flavour and a
smooth, firm texture.
A commonly used synonym of Gjetost is Gudbrandsdalsost;
the Gudbrand valley being its area of origin. The name derives from the
Norwegian for goat - Gjet.
Norway's mountainous landscape, in which
only about 3% of the land can be cultivated, made goat's cheese the more
common in the past, but now the milk is often mixed with cow's to give
a more varied taste. The result is a semi-hard cheese with a fat content
lower than most (about 30%). However, it can be made with goat's milk
alone, which is known as Ekte or genuine Gjetost.
It is made by boiling the leftover whey
of cow's and goat's milk until the lactose caramelises (which gives it
it's light brown appearance). The cheese is then poured into rectangular
moulds and left to cool. The outer surface is similar to that of a decorated
The taste resembles a slightly sour but
sweet caramel with a smooth texture similar to fudge.
It can be shaven into thin slices and
eaten with coffee for breakfast. At Christmas it is a favourite with spiced
fruit cake. It is also considered ideal as a sweet fondue or a sauce for
game. Mariners traditionally took this cheese with them on long voyages.