28 February 2015

An ode to Oltermanni

This post has been written full of praise of my favourite cheese, which is the Finnish Oltermanni. You might have seen me writing fondly about it before, but now I wanted to dedicate an entire post to this most wonderful of all cheeses. It's name translates to Alderman, a village elder.

Oltermanni is a mild and creamy cheese, perfect with toast, freshly baked rolls or proper rye bread. It's also quite rich, but lighter versions and even a spreadable version are available. One of my favourite ways of eating this cheese, is as breakfast with a salted and milky oat porridge. The cheese isn't mixed into the porridge in any way, but is taken in thin slices and eaten in turns with spoonfuls of warm and comforting porridge. You might think I'm crazy, but that is one of the best things I know in this world!

Oltermanni originates from Isokyrö in Western Finland, where I spent much of my childhood and youth. My grandparents had a farm there with cows that produced milk to make this cheese. So also in that way the product has always felt like very close to home. I grew up with Oltermanni, and a long time I didn't even taste or want to eat other cheeses. Luckily I have broadened my horizon in that respect, but Oltermanni has still remained a special one for me. Read in a previous post what is currently happening in the place where they used to make Oltermanni in Isokyrö.

The only downside of the matter is that this cheese is very difficult to obtain in the UK (please let me know, if you know of any sources!), basically I'll have to bring it with me whenever I visit Finland. So now you know with what my suitcase is mostly filled. Unfortunately the photos in this post are archive photos from few weeks ago, and I now have no Oltermanni left whatsoever. I also haven't booked a trip to Finland anytime soon, so I will have to do with the local British cheeses.

What is your absolute favourite cheese and do you also have a story connecting you to that cheese? I would love to hear your cheese stories, so don't be shy and comment below!

Your VegHog

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