Hemost, or “home cheese,” is a full fat pressed cheese with typical grainy texture and a clearly sour touch to the creamy flavor. The rind is covered with wax. The recipes tend to vary among families and small dairies. Traditionally, people used to produce it at home for their own needs and used raw cow milk. Nowadays, as the access to raw milk became difficult, many buy pasteurized milk in order to prepare their hemost, which is indispensable in the region especially during Christmas, where it makes part of the traditional julbord – Christmas buffet (literally: Christmas table).
Hemost cheese has a long production history originating from the homes in rural Småland. In particular the sour touch gives the locals reminiscences and feelings of a homemade cheese from childhood. With the rise of dairies in the region the hemost production was mostly transferred from the homes to the dairies, but never taken up for production in any giant dairy. Once a widespread product both in homes and in dairies, hemost is now only occasionally produced at the household level, and raw milk is almost never used.