Mysost: A Whey Better Cheese Recipe

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Photo by Fotolia/uckyo
Not sure what to do with leftover whey? This Scandinavian whey cheese may be your answer.

When making cheese, you generally end up with a great deal of leftover whey that you need to find a use for. The answer is mysost. Mysost is a traditional Scandinavian cow’s milk cheese made without cultures. It requires only whey, some cream and a little salt. (When made with goat’s milk, it’s called Ekte Gjetost.)

To start, you need at least a quart of whey, although more is preferable if you want a decent amount of cheese. Make sure the whey hasn’t already been salted before you begin. Pour the unsalted whey into a large stockpot, and set it over low heat for five to six hours. Keep the mixture just below a simmer. Eventually, it will cook down to a thick brown syrup.

If you want to stop at this point, you can scrape the cooked whey out and use it as a spread on toast or crackers. This is called prim. The flavor will be sharp and tangy. After the prim cools, it will solidify into a hard chunk. If you don’t want to stop at the prim stage, then you can add a few tablespoons of cream and a pinch of salt and continue cooking. Be sure to stir now and then to prevent burning. When the mixture reaches the consistency of caramel, scrape it out into a parchment paper-lined cheese mold and allow it to cool. After it has cooled, mysost can be sliced and served like any other cheese.

The process for making this whey cheese is extremely slow, but it requires little effort, and the finished product is well worth the patience needed.

Micah Janzen
Riley, Kansas