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Norway's old cheese--Viking Viagra? (Norway)
Norway Post ^ | March 27, 2005 | Janice Neider

Posted on 03/28/2005 3:19:18 AM PST by franksolich

Have you heard of Norway's Gamalost (Old Cheese)? It was originally made by the Vikings over 1000 years ago, who believed it had many medicinal properties.

But we'll let Janice Nieder tell you what else she discovered:

"Phewww! That stuff is nasty -- smells like my dog's bed, but my Grandpa loves it!" was a typical answer when I asked some teens in Balestand, Norway, if they ate Gamalost cheese.

I had just heard about this cheese originally made by Vikings over 1000 years ago. They believed it had many medicinal properties and would nibble on it during long voyages to provide energy and prevent colds. They also plastered it on their wounds to aid healing.

But its most popular benefit is extolled in early Viking sagas: Gamalost enhances one's sexual prowess.

I decided to visit Norway's last remaining Gamalost creamery, which was only a fifteen-minute ferry ride along Sognefjord, the world's longest fjord. My destination was Vik, a village of colorful wooden homes dwarfed by the backdrop of the Vikafjellet Mountain.

I meandered over to the Tine Cheese Center, which was created to preserve the making of this traditional cheese. The locals call it "Old Cheese" from the days when the cheese was made in the summer, on the mountain dairy farms and took a very long time to mature.

Skimmed cow's milk was left to sour, heated, and then the curds were placed in cloth-lined wooden boxes, wrapped in dried marsh grass, and the aging process would begin. Every other day, for many months, the dairy maids would pull the boxes out from under their beds, where the cheese was stored, and rub the cheese by hand to help spread the bacteria evenly.

By Christmas the cheese had fermented to a brownish gold color and was ready to eat. Nowadays the same principles of production are used, but in the well-equipped modern dairy the aging process is reduced to about two weeks.

There are many health benefits associated with Gamalost. It contains more than 50% protein and less than 1% fat. Also, the cheese contains significant amounts of Chitosan, a substance that is said to lower cholesterol levels. Even without the addition of sugar or salt the cheese is full of flavor.

Which brings us to the great taste debate--this is not a cheese for wimps! Gamalost is a hard crumbly cheese with a very sharp, intense flavor that is not in vogue with the younger generation in Norway (who tend to prefer soft bland cheeses like edam).

One story I heard attesting to the intensity of Gamalost's flavor was that when an old-timer was asked how Gamalost was made, he replied, "Take some cheese, stuff it in an old sock, bury it in manure under the barn and when it is ready, it will crawl out."

However, there are many passionate defenders of this distinctive cheese. The King of Norway is one of Gamalost's biggest fans, and has even visited Tine for a private tasting.

About 20 years ago, the Norwegian Old Cheese Club was formed and today boasts over two-thousand loyal members. And a quote from a local newspaper in 1996 said about Norway's Vebjorn Rodal, Olympic gold medal winner, "The Golden boy was doped on 'Old Cheese' from home".

I was ready for the decisive taste test. First I tried crackers topped with a thin slice of tomato and Gamalost, then whole wheat bread spread with butter, Gamalost, and a dot of lingonberry jam. And I loved it!

The assertive cheese with its earthy nutty flavor, worked with both savory and sweet additions.

Granted, the cheese I tasted was only about two weeks old, and over time would become much more pungent. However, to retard the aging process, simply freeze the cheese and then cut off small pieces for daily consumption. And if it becomes too dry, marinate the Gamalost in port, aquavit, or brandy, for a few days, before serving.

Without a doubt, Tines has a major marketing problem with trying to convert young Norwegians to jump on the Gamalost bandwagon. But, hey, with its Viagra-like claims, they would be lining up for it in the States.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; bison; cheese; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; health; history; norway; viagra; viking; vikings
News from Norway, which is on vacation until Wednesday.
1 posted on 03/28/2005 3:19:19 AM PST by franksolich
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To: 68 grunt; beckysueb; Born Conservative; Charles Henrickson; cinives; Constantine XIII; dennisw; ...
Ping for the Norway ping list.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
2 posted on 03/28/2005 3:21:16 AM PST by franksolich (visit my profile for pictures of Nebraska, the Norway of America)
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To: franksolich
Every other day, for many months, the dairy maids would pull the boxes out from under their beds, where the cheese was stored, and rub the cheese by hand

Just reading this gives an old man a chubby.

3 posted on 03/28/2005 3:32:09 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: franksolich

Behold the power of cheese.


4 posted on 03/28/2005 3:33:05 AM PST by Salamander
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To: Salamander

Well, it appears the Norwegians had better eat more of that cheese, so as to increase the birth-rate.

There are not many Moslems in Norway--a minuscule number as compared with Sweden and Denmark--but their own birthrate is significantly higher.

And so it seems to me the Norwegians should forget about investing in "things," and invest in large families instead.


5 posted on 03/28/2005 4:47:45 AM PST by franksolich (visit my profile for pictures of Nebraska, the Norway of America)
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To: franksolich
"... marinate the Gamalost in port, aquavit, or brandy, for a few days, before serving."

Marinate anything enough and you don't care what it tastes like
6 posted on 03/28/2005 5:25:28 AM PST by sticker
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To: franksolich

Please add my to your ping list, thank you.


7 posted on 03/28/2005 5:33:16 AM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: sticker

Excellent culinary advice. = )


8 posted on 03/28/2005 5:34:43 AM PST by Paulus
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To: sticker

Excellent culinary advice. = )


9 posted on 03/28/2005 5:34:59 AM PST by Paulus
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To: franksolich

Who cut the cheese? Thor cut the cheese!

Any who, outside of an erection, I thought the writer was describing old unwashed sweat socks, which sometimes languish at the bottom of laundry hampers across America.


10 posted on 03/28/2005 5:42:52 AM PST by Brofholdonow
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To: franksolich

My friend, you just gave away a multi-million dollar idea away for nothing to Kraft foods.

"Hey Lars, is that gamalost in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"

Yes, in a few years all across America police forces will be using cheese wiz gamalost with a win-win result:

Stage #1- This crap will neutralize any crowd.

Stage #2-They will walk away happy.


11 posted on 03/28/2005 5:50:03 AM PST by Brofholdonow
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To: franksolich

Gives the term Cheese-head a whole nother connotation..


12 posted on 03/28/2005 6:00:13 AM PST by hosepipe (This Propaganda has been edited to include not a small amount of Hyperbole..)
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To: franksolich

I love gjetost myself. I can find it once in a while. My kids always called it peanut butter cheese because it was brown. MMMMMM. Brings back many memories. Now lutefisk...never could quite abide that one. Fiskeboller, yes, lutefisk, no.


13 posted on 03/28/2005 6:03:22 AM PST by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: franksolich

Mornin'. Thanks for the ping, and the post.


14 posted on 03/28/2005 6:10:08 AM PST by wizr (Freedom ain't free.)
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To: TXBSAFH

You're on the now-famous Norway ping list.

Because Norway is such a small country--less people in all of Norway, than in the capital cities of most countries in Europe--not much happens there, but when it happens, it's all good.


15 posted on 03/28/2005 6:11:47 AM PST by franksolich (visit my profile for pictures of Nebraska, the Norway of America)
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To: wizr

You know, I'm trying to figure out this Norwegian architecture.

I looked at a bunch of photographs of houses in Norway, and at some promotions for some famous restaurant in Oslo, and there's really something wrong with the architecture up there.

Too much wall, too few window, if window at all.

Yeah, sure, it probably gets cold in Norway and all that, but man, living in a hole could drive one to drink.

The unrelenting winter winds of Nebraska are cold too, but I would feel as if a gopher in a hole, not living without great big huge enormous spacious windows on all four sides of this house; almost as much window as wall here.

True, it drives up the heating bill, all these large windows, and on all four sides, but being able to look upon the great big wide world outside boosts the morale and shines up the outlook.


16 posted on 03/28/2005 9:05:40 AM PST by franksolich (visit my profile for pictures of Nebraska, the Norway of America)
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To: franksolich

I'm solar powered. Sunshine gets me going. I don't do well when it's overcast here on the CA coast. I don't mean just cloudy, I mean low gray sky, like an ugly ceiling.

I haven't checked out the architecture much, but remember the bright colors used as accents. Color can also help to pick you right up.

Hope you are OK. They say that Spring is just around the corner. Can't wait.


17 posted on 03/28/2005 10:16:48 AM PST by wizr (Freedom ain't free.)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
I wonder what bleu cheese did?
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

18 posted on 04/07/2005 11:49:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Friday, March 25, 2005.)
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To: franksolich
You know, I'm trying to figure out this Norwegian architecture.

Too much wall, too few window, if window at all.

It's odd, I don't have any (acknowleged) Norwegian blood in me, though there IS Baverian, English, Cornish, & Welsh, so who knows...

Anyway, for me, the fewer windows, the better I like it.

Might have to do with spending over 20 years on night shifts, and preferring night classes, but still...

19 posted on 04/08/2005 12:42:57 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Only those without honor eat dead food, rather than making every meal a fight!)
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To: SunkenCiv
I wonder what bleu cheese did?

Rotted the moral fiber out of the French? Or was that the Limburger?

20 posted on 04/08/2005 12:46:58 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Only those without honor eat dead food, rather than making every meal a fight!)
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To: franksolich

Instead of "Smilin' Bob" they have "Smilin' Bjorn".


21 posted on 04/08/2005 12:50:30 AM PDT by Redcloak (But what do I know? I'm just a right-wing nut in his PJs whackin' on a keyboard..)
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To: SunkenCiv

Even though it's not as good as it used to be (but then, neither am I!), I'll stick to Heluva Good extra sharp cheese.


http://www.heluvagood.com/

The saddest part of living on the west coast... no Heluva Good, no Grandma Browns Baked Beans... and damn few good ristorantes.


22 posted on 04/08/2005 1:00:34 AM PDT by djf
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To: Marysecretary

Went to an authentic Norwegian smorgasbord once, expecting a wonderful dining experience. Seems like there were fifty kinds of salted fish. (Yum)

But the highlight was the opportunity to eat a whale steak. Want to know what whale steak tastes like> Imagine liver marinaded in fish oil. Double Yummy.


23 posted on 04/08/2005 7:25:46 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: wildbill

I remember my grandmother putting lutefisk in lye water in the bathtub. I NEVER ate lutefisk after that. Now, the cookies are wonderful!


24 posted on 04/08/2005 9:49:00 AM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: djf

Don't they make Heluva Good Cheese in New York somewhere?


25 posted on 04/08/2005 9:49:38 AM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: franksolich

My uncle Charlie used to say "Feet Stinkin cheese"


26 posted on 04/08/2005 9:55:03 AM PDT by bert (Peace is only halftime !)
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To: djf
Good morning.
"The saddest part of living on the west coast..."

Isn't that a problem that Internet commerce solves?

The saddest part of living on the east coast can only be solved by moving to the west coast.

Michael Frazier
27 posted on 04/08/2005 10:04:44 AM PDT by brazzaville (No surrender,no retreat. Well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: Marysecretary

tell me, was your granmother able to kill the taste of the lutefish after putting them into lye water? hee,hee.


28 posted on 04/08/2005 10:28:49 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: franksolich
Take some cheese, stuff it in an old sock, bury it in manure under the barn and when it is ready, it will crawl out."

Yuk, that is the grossest thing I have ever heard in my life! ROFLMA@!!!

29 posted on 04/08/2005 4:46:36 PM PDT by rdl6989
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To: wildbill

Ihave no idea. I would never taste it! I wouldn't take a bath in her tub either, after seeing that. But I love the cookies!


30 posted on 04/11/2005 7:40:35 AM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: franksolich

ping


31 posted on 04/11/2005 7:41:17 AM PDT by kingsurfer
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To: franksolich
They make it at the Gamalost creamery? hmmm...
32 posted on 04/11/2005 7:47:05 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: franksolich

One story I heard attesting to the intensity of Gamalost's flavor was that when an old-timer was asked how Gamalost was made, he replied, "Take some cheese, stuff it in an old sock, bury it in manure under the barn and when it is ready, it will crawl out."

ROFL


33 posted on 04/11/2005 8:17:31 AM PDT by Constantine XIII
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To: Marysecretary

That stuff is the bomb. Where can you get it over here?


34 posted on 04/11/2005 8:19:06 AM PDT by Constantine XIII
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To: Constantine XIII

Gamelost or Lutefisk? I'm sure Minnesota and places in Brooklyn or the midwest would have it. Perhaps the larger grocery markets like Wegman's in Syracuse and Rochester. They carry just about everything. Maybe you can get on the Sons of Norway website and they might have a link to foods. Good luck.


35 posted on 04/11/2005 10:10:26 AM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: Marysecretary

Thanks ^^


36 posted on 04/11/2005 10:15:08 AM PDT by Constantine XIII
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

37 posted on 01/24/2006 10:12:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: Salamander
Behold the power of cheese.

I wanted to post that.

Oh, well, maybe I can find a place for a "Gritty Kitty Kitty Litter" reference on another thread...

38 posted on 01/24/2006 10:30:16 PM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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