When we first moved to Oslo, we stayed at the Radisson for a month while our apartment was being vacated. The Radisson, like most Scandinavian hotels, included a breakfast buffet full of Scandinavian treats such as pickled herring, liverpate, and brown cheese (brunost). The first time I tried brunost, I was turned off by its chalkiness. I also did not like the indecisiveness of the flavor. Was it salty? Was it sweet? I couldn't tell and I didn't like it.
Fast forward 6 months, lunch at the office kantine. As a treat, the kantine prepared waffles (vaffels) for our enjoyment. Usually the waffles are eaten with jam (syltetøy) or that chalky, satly-sweet brown mess they call cheese. I watched my coworkers enjoy their waffles and slices of brown cheese and I was intrigued. The very next day, at the airport on my way to Trondheim, I was hungry and what did I find? Waffles and brunost! I gave that brunost a second chance and am really glad I did. What turned me off about the brunost initially all seemed to work with the mildly sweet waffle. The salty and sweet complemented it each other and the chalky texture was muted by the spongy waffle. It was delicious. After my trip to Trondheim, I found that I could not stop thinking about this ubiquitous brown cheese. After Trondheim, I saw it everywhere. Every bakery had brunost sandwhiches, brunost and waffles, brunost and crackers, brunost and brunost. I had to try it all...and I did. That brunost is fabulous!
This was an afternoon snack - meuslibrød, brunost, og kaffe. Translated: muesli bread, brown cheese and coffee. The Norwegians are pulling me in.