Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ekte Geitost cheese (a.k.a. Ekte Gjetost)

This is one of the strangest, most puzzling cheeses I have ever tasted. It is sweet and salty at the same time. It tastes like caramel, but more like caramelized milk solids (such as dulce de leche, cajeta or confiture de lait). And it is semi-soft, very similar to fudge. You can't spread it, but you can't really cut it either. You can use an apple peeler or a cheese slicer.
It is made in Norway from goat's milk. The milk is boiled under pressure until its solids caramelize. Similar to the way dulce de leche is made from placing cans of condensed milk in boiling water for many hours. Technically, the milk solids are going through the Maillard reaction, which is the caramelizing of sugars (lactose in this case) in the presence of proteins.
The most obvious way to serve this cheese for me was with candied apples and toasted sourdough. The apples are diced and cooked in boiling sugar, nice and slow until the moisture in the apples evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a medium amber brown. This cooking process gels the natural pectin in the apples making them soft, yet firm and chewy. It also helps preserve the apples since they are almost free of any moisture and are saturated with sugar.

The sourdough was sliced thinly by hand, dried in the dehydrator and toasted with a paint stripping gun. Yes, a paint stripping gun. It gives you direct control of where the heat goes and how dark you want to toast the bread. Also, it does it in a matter of seconds.
Eating this cheese with the candied apples and the toasted sourdough bread is one of the best things I have eaten.


  1. Chef Migoya. This is Won. I hope you remember me. Here's some hints. The CIA graduate, Korean, married, and working at Gordon Ramsay NYC.
    I am very happy to find your blog by accident.
    Whenever I get a chance to visit the CIA, I always visit APBC first to check your pastries and it always chanllege myself. I love your serious ideas about food especially pasty. I bet will be very popular soon. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Congulatulations.

  2. Hello Jong, of course I remember who you are. Thanks for taking a look.
    How are things at G.R.? Is business Ok? I have heard some rumors...
    How is the family? I hope all is well.
    Take care
    F. Migoya

  3. i had the norwegian cheese basically everyday when i was there and sweden. it does remind me of cajeta a bit and the texture is a crazy one. cool dish, when i was over there everyone ate it with wasa crackers. been following your blog for a bit. pretty amazing, love the book!!!