Monday, October 13, 2008
Why It's So Cool To Live In Linköping - Part 5: Norin's Ost
If you’re not hungry when you start reading this blog entry, you will be by the end of it. Ost means “cheese” in Swedish and the mere sound of that word causes fika-loving Swedish hearts to soar.
In Linköping, we have a little cheese shop. Actually, there are two of these little cheese shops in Linköping and then one more up the road in Norrköping. These are the kinds of shops Americans walk into and think, “I love being in Europe!”
Most people might think of these kinds of shops being in France, Switzerland, Italy and other places where cows (and sheep and goats) roam, but we have one up in Sweden, too. We have one in Linköping. And, in this humble bloggers opinion, it’s the best little cheese shop in the entire country.
To conclude our five-part Linköpinglivin' series on why living in Linköping is so cool, we take a look at Norins Ost.
Lena and Mats Norin are the third generation of cheese shop owners in their family. Since 1931, making Norin’s Ost the oldest cheese shop in Sweden, the Norin family has provided Linköping with Swedish-made, and more recently France- and Italian-imported, fresh cheese of all kinds: Hard, soft, cow, sheep, goat, blue, white, sharp, mild, expensive, inexpensive, cheese that smells bad, cheese that smells good, cheese that you will hate and cheese that you will love.
It’s an acquired taste, but if you know what I’m talking about, the smell of a good cheese shop can’t be beat. (And if you have never been in one, you will want to leave at first waft, but stick with it - it gets better.)
As if merely importing and “maturing” (as opposed to the actual making) wasn’t enough, the Norin family spends time distributing their cheeses throughout Sweden, educating groups, business and individuals about the art of cheese, wine and virtually everything that makes for a good picnic as well as working hard to find the next great discovery in the wide world of cheese. Speaking of good picnics, you can also pick up marmalade, crackers, vinegars, olive oils, cookies, chocolate truffles, pesto, olives, mustard and dried fruits of all kinds at Norin’s Ost shops.
Fresh, local, variety, high quality, personal touch, Linköping knows where to get the best cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner or fika. Just check out the website and observe what one American travel writer affectionately refers to as “a festival of mold,” the European cheese shop.
1. Norins Ost is found on Storgatan above Stora Torget and also down on Nygatan below Trädgårdstorget in Linköping and on Knäppingsborg in Norrköping.
2 - 4: Cheese, glorious cheese.
5. Lena Norin and an American treasuring the time behind the glass at a European cheese shop.