Let us explain before you recoil in fear. Putting cheese in coffee may sound like a trick you’d pull on an unsuspecting acquaintance, but in Finland, it’s a delectable treat known as kaffeost. We tasted kaffeost and highly suggest it if you’re searching for a unique yet delicious snack. This page will teach you all you need to know about kaffeost, including what it is and how to create it. We swear this isn’t a joke, and you’ll be losing out if you dismiss kaffeost without giving it a try.
But first, what is Kaffeost?
Kaffeost is a combination of hot coffee and a sort of cheese known as leipäjuusto in Finnish, which translates loosely to “bread cheese” in English. Don’t be fooled by the name; bread cheese is made entirely of cheese and contains no bread. The term derives from the cheese’s absorbent characteristic, which rapidly absorbs liquid, maybe coffee. This cheese is also known as “Finnish squeaky cheese” because of the little squeaking you can hear while you chew it.
Finnish squeaky cheese is typically made from reindeer milk, however depending on where you live, reindeer milk cheese may be difficult to find. Fortunately, some brands make cow’s milk bread cheese, which is considerably easier to find.
Bread cheese tastes well on its own and is lighter and sweeter than, say, a regular block of cheddar. The sweetness is vital and, in our opinion, what distinguishes kaffeost from being an accident. Because cheese is made from milk, adding sweet cheese to coffee is eerily similar to preparing a cup of coffee with milk and sugar.
How to Prepare Kaffeost
Making kaffeost isn’t difficult. It’s simply about putting the right cheese in your coffee. We were told to soak the cheese in the coffee for a few minutes before removing the slices and eating them individually.
Bread cheese absorbs a remarkable quantity of coffee taste after only a few minutes of soaking due to its absorptive nature. Wet cheese was a new experience for us, and while we didn’t care for the texture, the flavour was fantastic! The cheese took on the roasty characteristics of the coffee and almost tasted smoked.
The coffee wasn’t horrible either, but we weren’t crazy about the flavour. It was significantly sweeter and had an earthy flavour that wasn’t awful but didn’t blow us away like the cheese did. Overall, we had a wonderful time and do not regret trying kaffeost.
What About Other Cheeses?
If you can’t find bread cheese in your grocery, you might be tempted to try another type of cheese. We’ve only experienced kaffeost with the appropriate Finnish squeaky cheese, so we can’t speak from experience, but we do have a few suggestions to keep in mind for the ideal kaffeost experience.
When choosing a substitute cheese, the most crucial factor to consider is sweetness. We believe that the sweetness of the cheese used determines the taste of kaffeost. Our coffee wasn’t spectacular, but it was more than drinkable, thanks to the mild sweetness imparted by the bread cheese.
The absorptiveness of the cheese is almost as significant as its sweetness. The coffee-soaked slices were delicious, and you won’t get the same amount of flavour blending if you use a hard, non-porous cheese. If you want to obtain as near to an authentic experience as possible without actually using leipäjuusto, choose a soft cheese that will absorb the coffee’s tastes nicely.
It’s not every day that you come across an idea that completely stops you in your tracks like putting cheese to coffee. When we first heard about kaffeost, we double-checked the article’s publication date to ensure it wasn’t on April 1st. Jokes aside, we were pleasantly surprised by how amazing cheese with coffee can be and would make it again in a heartbeat.
If you wish to sample kaffeost for yourself, look for true bread cheese at your local markets. If you can’t get genuine Finnish squeaky cheese, search for a soft, sweet cheese that absorbs coffee well. If you try it and like it, be prepared for your friends’ puzzled expressions as you try to explain what kaffeost is, and perhaps record a video or two to preserve their funny reactions.