Cellar matured goat cheese is a traditional product from the mountainous area of central Sweden. Today, there are producers in the counties of Jamtland, Harjedalen and Angermanland. For centuries this cheese, then simply called white goats cheese, was produced in the summer pasture villages, far away from the home farm, as a way to preserve the excellent quality, creamy milk produced from the goats that grazed in varied pastures of meadows, heath and forest. Now referred to as cellar matured goat cheese, it is still made in a few remaining summer pasture farms as well as by some small-scale home farms that keep their own goats. Each producer’s cheese is made unique by the pasture on which the goats graze and by the natural moulds of the old stone aging cellars. Cheese making also means a better chance for survival for the indigenous breed of goat, the Svensk Lantrasget, the primary breed used for producing the cellar matured goat cheese. Once tens of thousands of Svensk Lantrasget could be found in Sweden, but now it is considered a threatened species and only around 2,500 survive today. A relatively small, long-haired goat, it is well adapted to living in a cold climate.
The raw milk cheese is made in the morning by adding the previous evening’s milk to the morning milk. Natural mesophillic lactic acid cultures and animal rennet are added. The curd is cut by hand, or with a curd harp, to the size of a kernel of sweet corn. The cheese is pressed into a rectangular wooden cheese mould. It can be either salted or unsalted. The brick shaped cheese forms are matured on wooden boards in stone lined earthen cellars, giving each cheese its own unique taste and colorful crust of natural mould. Generally matured for 6-7 months to produce a cheese full of character, it can also be eaten as a young cheese at 2-3 months, or as a more mature cheese at 4-5 months and up to one year when it acquires a slightly spicy taste.
Counties of Jämtland and Härjedalen, Jämtland Region
Jan Hammar, Hillsands Getgård
Sigrid & Rejo Kusiniemi, Stengärde Getgård
Karin Eriksson Ost och Bryggstubuan
tel. +46 70657567