Gammalost or Oldcheese as opposed to gammal ost or old cheese is an
ancient Norwegian food. It can add a lot of taste to some otherwise bland food
and it keeps well. Many traditional Norwegian foods could be stored for long
periods without refrigeraton: flat bread, dry salted meats, Gammalost, dried
fish etc. It has a sharp flavor and will probably be appreciated by anyone who
appreciates Brie, Camenbert, Roquefort, or Blue Cheese. Gammalost is a firm if
not granular cheese and is best sliced with a cheese plane as shown in the
In the days when young girls spent summers in the mountain saeters of
Norway Gammalost was made each June. Skim milk was allowed to sour in a large
wooden bucket. It was then heated in a large cast iron pot. When the curds
separated they were placed in a wood form with cheese cloth and the liquid
drained out. The drained cheese was placed on a warm shelf in the saeter hut
and taken down to the farm with the animals in the fall. By Christmas the
cheese had fermented to a brown color and was ready to eat. This information
was passed on by Ruth Durham Magnussen of Betna,
Norway. She made Gammalost as a young girl in Norway.
Making gamalost at Beten Sæter in the
1930's. We plan to publish her description in Nordmørsk (Norwegian
Dialect) soon. Gammalost was reported to prevent sickness and infection.
I remember asking my great uncle Arthur how Gammalost was made. His tale
was something like, take some cheese, stuff it in an old sock bury it in the
manure under the barn and when it is ready it will crawl out. Some Gammalost
smells like his recipe could be true, but Gammalost today does not smell
strong. Arthur did say you could eat Gammalost instead of taking pennicillin.
Some stories and referances sent to us.If you have
any Gammalost stories
with us or just let us know what you think of Gammalost.
The only commercially produced gamalost today come from the Tine Dairy in Vik Norway. They use the filamentous fungi mucor mucedo to transform the curds to cheese.