Cheese, glorious cheese!
What else is there to live for?
Going to a grocery store in Denmark is like crack for a cheese nut like me. There were coolers and coolers worth of cheese – every taste and type. They range in flavour from the mild ‘School’ cheese for the cheese newbie up to the strong, forthright flavour for those of us who enjoy a cheese with attitude. It was glorious.
Here are a few pictures of the selection. Keep in mind that this is only from the small, local corner grocery.
Here are the pictures from the big, superstore type warehouse:
The Happy Cheese Man
So day 2 and my Uncle took us on a pilgrimage to the Rosekilde Cheese Man (CM). It’s not a place for tourists because it’s in the wilds of Vejle amt, over hill and dale, across highways and into a non-descript farm. Because it was a Wednesday, it wasn’t busy. Apparently come Saturday, people park wherever the side of the road is wide enough and there are 3 people behind the counter.
We entered a low white building, through a plastic sheet. The beautiful odor of good, stinky, socks signaling the home of good cheese filled my nose.
Today there is only the smiling cheese man. He’s in his 60’s and with a very happy face. He knows my uncle well and when he sees sis and I he says, ‘How is it that such an old bugger like you knows such charming young ladies?’ Now you know that I’m 50, but it was cute. So Uncle and he launch into a familiar repartee that had my sis and I laughing.
In DK, most of the cheese is slicing cheese, only a few are harder parmesan types.
Let the Tasting Begin!
Then the cheese man starts bringing out the goods. Uncle has a favourite, which CM is only happy to let us try. Then he hauls out another and says, “So Blacksmith – are you ready for some adult cheese?” This one is more pungent, more flavourful but still creamy.
He proceeds to bring out 4 or five other cheeses, the last one was a full flavoured, bad boy that reminded me of great granddad’s cheese that he used to keep in a tin in the back yard. Yum.
Far cry from Home
The prices were enough to make me cry. We pulled a good chunk of cheese of blue out of the cooler. It measured, 4” x 3” x 2’. It cost $5 Canadian. It would have cost $45 in Van.
We pay obscene cheese prices in Vancouver for crap, dry, flavourless cheeses. A Havarti cheese costs $40 -$50 / kg. In DK it would cost $5 / KG and would be much tastier.
The CG brought out a special cheese, a hard, parmesan type. “Now let this one sit on your tongue for a bit. It’s meant to be savoured.” I bit into it and let it sit on my tongue for a bit. I had a faint tang of parmesan but then came the lovely caramel flavour of gjetost. Perfection. “That will taste good with red wine”, said my uncle.
Of course we had to have a Fynsk ryg ost – a lovely fresh cheese, specialty of Fyn, that is lightly smoked.
So we left with our glorious stinky treasures and stopped to pet the cat. Even the cat is happy at Rosenhilde Ost.