I’m currently visiting my in-laws in Northern Norway, where the nearest grocery store is 8 km away and a specialized cheese shop isn’t in high demand. So, I was a little uncertain what cheese I could share with you this week until I saw my mother-in-law reach into the cheese case during our Easter grocery-shopping trip yesterday. She grabbed a small, black-wrapped crescent moon of cheese called Gamalost (“old cheese”) – it’s a semi-soft blue cheese made from skimmed cow’s milk. I’m not sure if this cheese was called “old cheese” when it was first produced – the name now hints at its lack of popularity and production. Gamalost was once a staple of the Norwegian diet mostly because it could (and can) be stored for a long time without refrigeration. Making gamalost is quite laborious, so it is no longer made in large quantities and is rare to find outside of Norway. It is only made in the town of Vik in Southwestern Norway.
The first look at this cheese was a little off-putting because of the texture. It’s grainy and almost looks like it has been rubbed in bread crumbs. The taste is not bad though – the moldiness really shines through in a good way and I could imagine going back for more of this when I want something a little different from my usual blue cheese. I should also mention that Gamalost really packs a protein punch with a low-fat content. I’m so happy to add one more Norwegian cheese notch to my belt. I encourage you to do the same should you ever find yourself on these shores. Just don’t let the weird texture discourage you from trying it!