Friday, March 31, 2006

I Know, It's Brown

I Know: It’s Brown

After reading Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” I realized my Norwegian ancestors weren’t the most civilized peoples on the planet (you know, blood thirsty Vikings), but they made the best of it for centuries in their scarcely farmable, windy, dark, Arctic country.

In these unfavorable circumstances, no great operas, ground shaking philosophy, or great wines were likely to evolve. Still, these hearty souls tilled the land, stoked their fires, fished, and tended their goats. Out of this labor arose the great Norwegian goat cheese. In Norwegian, it’s Ekte Geitost.

Wait. Don’t be turned off so quickly, just because this cheese resembles brown soap. I learned after watching my grandfather calmly consume this product over many years, that there must be something to it.

In 1992, when I finally visited my long lost relatives in Norway, Ekte Geitost entered my life as a matter of survival. Here I was, stranded on a farm in the middle of rural Norway with two elderly, somewhat senile Norwegian farmers, with nothing more than goat cheese, fish, potatoes, and coffee to survive. With a smile, I quickly discovered the charms of “Ekte Geitost.”

How To Eat Norwegian Goat Cheese

1. Ignore Brownness

2. Slice very, very, very thin

3. Put on crackers, with jam or honey

4. Place on top of palate and suck

5. It has a very rich flavor which you acquire gradually

6. Take note of the happy, dancing goats

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