brunost and messmör
Very welcome Xmas gifts, thanks to a couple of Scandinavian markets in London.
Both of these are whey products.
The brown cheese is made from goat's milk and whey. It is commonly called "getost" (Swedish) or "geitost" (Norwegian), which both mean "goat's cheese". This is a Norwegian one made by TINE. Typically served thin-sliced on crispbread. You fold down the plastic wrapping as you use up the cheese.
According to some definitions it does not qualify as true cheese because it is not made with curds. But it has the consistency of a hard cheese.
The tub at the front contains a sandwich spread (about the consistency of Primula cheese spread). In this case the whey and butter come from cow's milk. The maker is Fjällbrynt, based in Östersund in Jämtland, Sweden. The Swedish word for this popular spread is "messmör" which basically means whey butter. ("Vassle" is the usual word for whey, but "Mese" is cognate with Norwegian "Myse" and is the word used in connection with local Jämtland produce.
Both products are noticeably sweet. The cheese not only looks like Caramac, it also tastes like it (a bit). So children adore these foods, but only if they're introduced to them early, before reason and fear set in.
The wrappers of two brown cheeses. The blue wrapper is "genuine goat's cheese, rich and strong". The orange-brown wrapper is "cream whey cheese, light and mild" and is made from cow's milk. They're both very nice. One significant difference is that while the strong goat's cheese keeps almost for ever in the fridge (just gradually getting harder and more brittle), the milder cow's cheese gets mould on the surface after a month or two.
And another one, below. Gudbrandsdalen is made from a mixture of goat's and cow's cheese, and is intermediate between the two others.
Before we get too sentimental, we should remember that Norway's principal export, by miles, is fossil fuels.