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Hemost is a full fat pressed cheese with typical grainy texture and a clearly sour touch to the creamy flavor. It is paraffinated on the surface. 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 "home-made" 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. Instead, when mergers between dairy companies in the region took place during the 1960’s and 1970’s all of a sudden there was only one producer left – Smålands Ost in Vrigstad. In the Vrigstad dairy the Hemost cheese has been produced since 1964.

Once a widespread product both in homes and in dairies, the Hemost cheese is now relying on one small-scale family company alone for its continued life. That is risky business in times of large-scale solutions and economy of scale.

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Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Martin Ragnar