A week ago we had the privilege to visit a real, 100 year old traditional off grid farm in Hedmark. It was a very long drive with directions such as “after your cell connection goes away, make your first right onto a gravel road and keep driving for 6 kilometres.” My kinda place!
Christian’s family has owned this farm for over 100 years, and he has had to finally sell it because of health. This is his last year on the farm and he invited us up to experience it with him.
The farm consisted of a main house with blue door, guest house, cheese making house, out-house toilet, goat and cow house all with grass roofs. Luckily Christian had a very small solar panel so he had phone service available for emergencies. I wondered how emergency services would find the place but there was an emergeny card on each outbuilding with map coordinates on it for helicopter. We were out in the wilds!
Christian showed us around and introduced us to his beautiful cows who he is spending his last year with, White Rose and Fleck Rose.
Christian spends his days making cheese and reading when he is not entertaining guests. The process of cheese making takes all day.
Here is how he does it:
- He wakes up and milks his cows by hand.
- He takes the milk and separates the milk and cream in a hand cranked separator.
- He takes the milk and cooks it on a wood stove in a copper pot.
- He removes the white cheese that forms in the milk and puts it to the side.
- He cooks the milk sugar water leftover after the white cheese is removed.
- He then cooks the milk sugar, adding a little liquid cream back in, and lets the pot cool once proper temperature is reached. He said “this isn’t really cheese.”
- He stirs the brown result until it becomes stiff like dough.
- He removes the brown “not cheese” and places it into cheese forms until the next day when it is ready.
I didn’t take notes of the temperatures during the process because I was in such awe watching such a professional make this with no modern amenities. Now this cheese is traditionally made with goat milk, but he didn’t have enough goats to make a proper batch, but his goats sure we’re cute!
If you have never had brunost, it is an experience. It is so sweet, and so brown, the brain rejects it at first. But after having it a few times it begins to grow on your palate. When we travel, I really miss brunost. Definitely try some when you can!