Brunost / Gjetost – Brown Cheese from Norway

Brunost Gjetost - Norwegian Brown Cheese

Finding this Norwegian brown cheese at the local cheesemonger means that I finally get to break 90% with the omnivore’s hundred list. Cue applause here. If you’ve been living under a foodblog-free rock the past month or so, you can find the original list at Very Good Taste. I’m probably only 1 of 3 people who bothers to update my list, getting a rush whenever another item gets marked off, but it’s all in good clean fun.

Luckily, for people with a propensity to bite into brown cubes with reckless abandon, Ski Queen® Cheese comes wrapped with directions and a visual aid for serving.

Brunost Gjetost - Norwegian Brown Cheese Ski Queen

Note that the use of a cheese plane is recommended instead of a cheese knife or a cheese wire cutter, presumably to get the attractive brown curls illustrated on the wrapper.

Ski Queen® is made with a mix of whey from cow’s milk and goat’s milk, although other brands may exclusively contain either one. Unwrapping reveals a molded semi-firm block that looks like caramel, because, well, that’s essentially what it is. Milk is evaporated over low heat to concentrate and caramelize the sugars, resulting in a browned and slightly sweetened product.

Once evaporated to the proper consistency, Brunost is molded into blocks and undergoes no aging before finding its way to your grocery shelf. The distinctive taste of fresh goat’s milk is still somewhat noticeable.

Brunost Gjetost - Norwegian Brown Cheese Unwrapped
Don’t mind the fingerprint.

The thick but almost spreadable consistency of Brunost lends itself well to anything crisp and crunchy, be it crackers, toasted bread, or thinly sliced apples and pears.

Related Links for Brunost / Gjetost Cheese:

La Fête du Fromage hosted by Chez Loulou

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72 Responses to “Brunost / Gjetost – Brown Cheese from Norway”

  1. Baking Soda says:

    And…did you like it? I remember having this for breakfast in a Norwegian cabin, right after we sampled alami which accidently turned out to be goat as well. Memorable breakfast..

    last blog post: On their way to

  2. Rosa says:

    I’ve never eaten that cheese, but if ever I see it over here, I’d gladly buy some of it to have a taste… It looks interesting and strange ;-P!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    last blog post: WEEKEND CAT BLOGGING #171

  3. kat says:

    I see a lot of it in the stores here (MN, a lot of Scandinavians) & I really should try it

    last blog post: Homemade Potato Chips

  4. Natashya says:

    I have never seen anything like that, amazing!
    If I ever come across it, I will definitely give it a try.

  5. clumbsycookie says:

    That cheese must be delicious! It’s strange to think of caramel flavour in cheese, but I would love to try it! Congratulations on getting to the 90%s of the o. list!

    last blog post: Serom’s: Inside-out Smore’s!

  6. Life Chef says:

    I’m going to be on the look out for this. Sounds delicious and decadent. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Diana says:

    I first tried this a few years ago (at a Whole Foods cheese tasting, no less!) I LOVED it and am perplexed when people say they find it disgusting-sounding.

    last blog post: French Toastettes with Foie Gras

  8. noobcook says:

    Ooo how unique! I’ve never seen anything like it! ^^

  9. danielle says:

    oh man love the stuff. living in norway currently and i eat so much bread and cheese these days.

  10. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    I can see why you’d want to try this. Now, I’ll have to ask at my two special cheese places to see what they have.

  11. A says:

    in norway we eat it on bread or waffles
    try it with strawberry jam – or even a tomato slice!

  12. Heather says:

    Hi, Jude – I found you when you started following me on Twitter, then I saw your Gjetost on Tastespotting. So I thought I’d drop by and say hiya!

    Great blog you have here, btw. I’ll be back.

    last blog post: Braised rabbit ravioli with caramelized shallots and chanterelle jus

  13. Shaula says:

    My Norwegian roommate used to talk about Gjetost. I still haven’t managed to track any down, but I’m on the look out!

    last blog post: How to clear your BlackBerry GPS cache

  14. Madam Chow says:

    I had this in college – my microbiology professor brought it in!

    last blog post: Good Ol’ Retro Green Bean Casserole

  15. lalaine says:

    I need to find this cheese!

  16. van says:

    I’ve never seen this cheese before. Looks creamy and tasty!

    last blog post: Banana nut bread

  17. Baking Soda – I intentionally left out what I thought of Brunost so I don’t tick anyone off, but now that I’ve polished off 2 cubes, I can honestly say that I like it. It’s unlike any other cheese I’ve tried so it took a little getting used to. Great with apples and pears.

    Rosa, Kat, Natashya, Life Chef, Lalaine, Van, Shaula, Tanna, Noobcook – Brunost is definitely worth trying! Great on toast, too.

    Clumbsy – I am a geek for religiously updating that list.

    Diana – The name is disgusting sounding? Because it doesn’t sound American, maybe? Their loss.

    Danielle – I’m starting to develop a fierce liking to Brunost. Wish I’d tried it sooner.

    A – Will do. The tomato slice idea sounds interesting.

    Heather – Thanks.. Appreciate the kind words.

  18. bee says:

    my absolute favourite cheese – tastes like salty dulce de leche to me.

  19. Danielle.SavorCulture says:

    Hi Jude,

    I’ve never bought a block of this cheese, but I did try it once at The Cheese Stands Alone on Lincoln Ave. Is that where you found it?

    Love your blog– it is clear that you’re very ambitious in the kitchen! I’ll eat stinky cheese any day, but I consider baking pita bread to be out of my league. Am looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    last blog post: La Fête du Fromage: Bourrée

  20. Hillary says:

    I love that you update your list and it makes me want to start updating my list too! I haven’t yet added anything. A lot of the more exotic products aren’t really available by me. But wow this cheese looks heavenly…

    last blog post: Sweet Tart Apple Berry Apricot Pie: A Contest Winner!

  21. Katie says:

    I love this cheese! I became quite obsessed with it when I spent a week in Norway. I love it because it’s great with both savory and sweet things…it was equally delicious on a ham sandwich, or with bread and jam. I really wish I could find it locally.

    (linked over from Tastespotting)

  22. sweetbird says:

    I read this the other day and didn’t think much of it, until I saw some of this stuff at the commissary on Sunday. I almost bought some, just because you made it sound so tasty – but I can’t get over the whole brown cheese thing. It’s just…odd.

  23. Maggie says:

    I loved this as a child but haven’t had it in ages. My name for it was “caramel cheese”.

    last blog post: My Epicurean Adventure Part 1, Farmer’s Market Inspired Cooking

  24. Judith says:

    I got this one once last spring at a cheese shop in Iowa, go figure. They have a lot of discount import cheeses. It was a little weird to have a caramel-flavoured cheese, but it is very distinctive!

    last blog post: Blog Party Birthday Bash Part Two: A Cheese and Wine Tasting

  25. siri says:

    Hi! Great site! I love to find other baking-only sites out there. Looks like you got a ton of responses on this one, but I thought I’d let you know that “Brunost” simply means “Brown cheese” (as opposed to the other cheese Norwegians commonly eat, “Gulost”, or “yellow cheese” (also known as swiss!). My count on the omnivore’s challenge was around 60, so I’m really impressed with your 90! -Siri

  26. Toril says:

    Hi,
    great to hear that so many likes it!
    We are a norwegian family living in Qubec city, and dying to find some brown cheese (brunost), Anybody who got a good description on exactly where to buy in Montreal or Toronto? Need street name/adress/shopname such that I can find it on google or a map.
    Try new baked grain bread and brown cheese with sliced sweet bellpepper on top…..delicious.. I even use it in homemade brown sauce I make for steaks – (melts in), it is great!

  27. kat b says:

    I love this cheese!My favourite way to eat it is as follows. Put slices onto jam on toast then grill, it is amazing. My favourite breakfast!

  28. LINDA HINZ says:

    WHERE CAN YOU PURCHASE THE BROWN CHEESE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, MORE SPECIFICALLY IN MICHIGAN?
    MY DAUGHTER JUST CAME BACK FROM 6 WEEKS IN NORWAY AND IS HOOKED ON THIS CHEESE

  29. Denise says:

    Linda….I have found Gjetost (specifically, the “Ski Queen” brand) at Meijer’s stores (as well as a gourmet food store in Kalamazoo: Bacchus on Oakland Drive). Good luck! It’s well worth it!

  30. The Everywhereist » Blog Archive » Eating in Norway: Lunch will be $128. Have a nice day. says:

    [...] and “brown cheese” is way less scary than you’d [...]

  31. Paul says:

    This cheese is part of the salad bar selections at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. I had no idea what it was, but being a fearless foodie I had to try it. It was very good. I wish they had served it along side apples or pears — how delicious.

  32. Lael says:

    I love a thin layer of this cheese on toast!

  33. michael says:

    just returned from Norway. WOW. this cheese is outstanding on bread or crackers for breakfast with a pot of coffee. with fruits in the afternoon with coffee. :) Thanks Lise for introducing me to such fine foods

  34. Bonnie says:

    We ate this cheese at the Norwegian restaurant in Epcot–delicious!! Hope I can find somewhere to purchase it at home in WV.

  35. Waffelrezept says:

    Thanks for the tips! Your post truly helped me.

  36. TomN says:

    I have eaten this frequently in the past, because my family loved it, but it has been hard to find at home. I found it on the cheese shelf in the Jewel Osco in Arlington Heights, northwest of Chicago, of all places!I guess there are some Scandihoovians living around here.

  37. Svart Mann says:

    Where can I buy this cheese? I am in Washington State USA. I absolutely love this cheese, especially with crackers. Thanks in advance.

  38. Randall says:

    I tried this cheese on a kayak trip around Bayfield Wisconsin, Norwegian country. A friend bought some in local shop and gave the group samples. There were other wierd things that Scandinavians like, such as whitefish livers,that had mixed reactions. Some liked it and some were repulsed. I love adventure in food as well as adventure in the outdoors. I am rather finnicky with cheese but this stuff has a unique taste. Where can I get this stuff locally in Illinois or Wisconsin?

  39. Mia says:

    My mum and I had this caramel cheese in Oslo…and omw! It was so strange! Its very yummy, but RICH! About 4 months ago, I saw it at our local supermarket in South Africa. Defnitely something to try if you are a cheese and sweet lover!

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  42. Mary Lou Salter says:

    you must try this heated under salamander on a slice of toast

  43. Thomas Phevens says:

    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  44. Lorrielorreb says:

    I love this cheese! Someone turned me on to it just before the holidays. We served it at all our holiday parties and even gave it away as gifts! Just need to figure out more things to do with it now!

  45. Bruce S. says:

    I use this on a toasted cheese sandwich. A light maybe Italian rye then equal parts of gjetost and an Havarti or similar light cheese, Yummy.

  46. Rakel says:

    I am a 4th gen Norwegian American, and my dad used to serve this to us kids on club crackers with butter. I always loved it! I was reminded of it today, and now I have to find somewhere in Orlando that has it. My dad used to get it in the Great Lakes Commissary in North Chicago, IL.

  47. Lisa says:

    i also tried this cheese @ Epcot for the 1st time. Our neighbor just gave us a case of it!!!!
    For those of you wondering where you might be able to find it, I would almost try checking at a local IKEA store as they have many Scandinavian foods there!!! Good luck!!

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  58. food kamikaze says:

    Regarding Gjetost, little thinly sliced ribbons mixed with the “crumb” of Apple crumb is amazing. First I tried layering it between the apples and the crumb but the cheese didn’t melt right. On the second attempt of my experiment I mixed the small, thinly sliced ribbons with the crumb mixture. AWESOME!! it enhanced the flavor as well as the crunch. I recently discovered this cheese and look forward to having some fun. Next I think I will see what I can come up with using sweet potatoes. My 9 year old enjoyed the cheese thinly sliced with asian pear and ham on ciabatta….Yum!

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  61. torlo says:

    Of course you will have to use a cheese slicer like on the picture. Not because of the illustrated curls, but to slice it thin enough for it to taste any good(this cheese is very soft). If you slice it too thick, it will almost be like having cement in your mouth…

    In Norway we use it on waffles or a slice of bread(usually wholemeal bread, and not white bread), and sometimes we use strawberry jam also(raspberries or strawberries). And don’t forget to use butter on your bread slice…

  62. walt says:

    Every time I retrieve the cube of Gjetost from my fridge and use my Norge made slicer with the Viking motif on the pewter handle I have to share slices with my four cats—they love the stuff. Maybe its because my cats all are girls with Norwegian names…. (Freya, Sonya, Gerda, Kari).

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  64. Nancy J Van Allen says:

    I love Gjetost cheese. I recently bought your dark blue color packaged Gjetost at the Boise Coop in Boise,Idaho. It was so salty that I could not enjoy it. Do you think that I got a bad batch. Do you have low salt Gjetost cheese.

  65. Marc says:

    I love Gjetost. I have been eating it since 1962 when I first Discovered it while visiting Scandinavia. I like it best on pumpernickel toast with a sliced banana on top of it and a cup of herbal tea. WOW! YUMMY!

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