kaffeost, swedish coffee with squeaky cheese
The Scandinavian Tradition Of Putting 'Bread Cheese' In Coffee
By Haldan Kirsch
Coffee has been around for centuries, first enjoyed in the Middle East before it began to spread all over the globe. As it grew in popularity among different cultures, coffee’s bitter flavor was offset with ingredients that reflected the different regions it was in, such as the nomadic Scandinavians who opted for adding cheese to make kaffeost.
The Saami people of countries like Finland, Norway, and Sweden took to coffee when it was introduced in the mid-1700s and began adding juustoleipä, or “bread cheese.” Also known as “Finnish squeaky cheese,” the lightly charred juustoleipä is traditionally made using reindeer milk and gets its name from its resemblance to the interior crumb of a slice of bread.
Bread cheeses’ porousness and unique flavor make it a well-suited companion to the drink, with some describing its taste as a coffee-infused cheesecake or tiramisu. If you want to try kaffeost for yourself, it’s best to find a squeakier cheese; otherwise, consider using a soft, porous, and sweet cheese like cheese curds, brie, or halloumi to recreate a flavor close to the original.