The word Gjetost consists of 'Gjet' and 'ost', norwegian for 'goat' and 'cheese'. Other names: 'Brunost'/'Brown cheese', 'Gudbrandsdalsost'/'cheese from the Gudbrandsdal valley'.
Cow or goat milk and cream is added to whey. The mixture is boiled carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel wich gives the cheese its caracteristical taste. It is ready for consumption as soon it is packed in suitable sized blocks.
If boiled for a shorter time than usual, one gets the spreadable version prim.
Prim had been made in Norway for a long time when Anne Hov, a farmer's wife got the idea of putting cream into the cheese. She got a good price for her new fatty cheese, and this mercendise is said to have saved the Gudbransdal valley finacially in the 1880s.
Today several types of gjetost is offered in most shops in Norway. It is a very popular topping for the customary open sandwiches eaten at breakfast and lunch.
Gjetost can be used with much success in cooking and gives a subtle caramel taste.
TINE produces most of the gjetost. Several local dairies produce their own versions.
Experimental versions with nuts and honey or chocolate has been tried, without very much success.
There is a variety of gjetost called ekte gjetost which does not contain cow milk but rather is made with 100% goat's milk.
See also: List of cheeses