Gjetost: A Unique Norwegian Cheese

Gjetost—pronounced ‘yay-toast’—is a Norwegian cheese made of cream, milk, and whey. Traditionally made from goat milk, this staple gets it unusual brown color from caramelized milk sugars. Gjetost is like a dense fudge with a slightly tart finish that melts into a creamy, peanut butter-like consistency. It is also called brunost or brown cheese, and is typically served on thin crisp crackers with a layer of butter and fruit preserve.

Surprise dinner guests with a dessert fondue made of gjetost, heavy cream, and a dash of bourbon. Or serve it with dried figs and apricots as a postprandial accompaniment to tawny port wine. It also makes a delicious addition to pasta sauce, making it creamy and adding layers of flavor. My favorite way to enjoy this Norwegian delicacy is to grill it on pecan raisin bread and pair it with a cup of Colombian roast.

Grilled Gjetost Recipe

Serves two

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter or 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. gjetost cheese
  • Optional: sliced bananas

Gjetost sandwich – photo by Gia Coelho


  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread, and place buttered-side down in a flat pan. For a healthier option, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.
  2. Use knife or cheese slicer to cut thick slices of cheese. Place sliced cheese on the top surface of the bread.
  3. Cook on medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes until the oils of the cheese begin to separate, giving it a glossy sheen.
  4. Serve hot with mixed berries and spicy Colombian coffee.
  5. Add sliced bananas and an extra slice of bread to create a unique grilled cheese sandwich!
Gjetost is available at many specialty cheese stores and Whole Foods Markets. The most commonly available brunost is made by Ski Queen.

Gia CoelhoGia Coelho is a communications and marketing consultant specializing in development projects for non-profits. She enjoys exploring new places in the pursuit of discovering unique local eateries. She now lives outside Washington DC and as an artist and illustrator, pursues passions that include wildlife conservation, writing, culinary adventures, painting, and creating colorful Zentangle art that she sells on her Etsy site at www.etsy.com/shop/giacoelho.

What about you? Tell us about your favorite cheese in the comments section below.

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