Juustoa (Bread Cheese)

Bread Cheese
When life gets crazed I turn to comfort foods, and this is a U.P. comfort food extraordinaire.  During my U.P. years I would buy a locally-made version of this baked cheese that was a bit sweeter and less salty than the versions that are now popping up all over (Trader Joe’s apparently carries a version of bread cheese, as do many Whole Foods).  Juustoa goes by many other variations on the name and it is a Finnish cheese made with whole milk that is curdled with an enzyme or acid and then baked until the top is browned and caramelized.  It is pure, gooey awesome.

The baking process produces a cheese that can be heated and will still maintain its shape, similar to Greek halloumi.  It is used in both savory and sweet preparations, and my favorite way to eat it is to simply warm it in a pan with some butter (yep, you heard that right) and then eat the oozy pieces straight out of the pan.  Seriously, it will make you think of the best grilled cheese, ever and you will see no need to bother with the bread.

It is also served as breakfast fare, warmed up and served with maple syrup or fresh berries, as pictured above.  Coffee drinkers have been known to drop cubes into a cup of hot coffee to let it seep out some milky goodness as you sip, and by the time you reach the bottom of the cup there is a soft cube of cheese waiting to be devoured.  I am not a coffee drinker, but Harrison can vouch for this technique.

This is one of the original “fast foods” and it makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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17 Responses to Juustoa (Bread Cheese)

  1. Curt January 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Wow, I've been here in Wisconsin since 1992 and I've never heard of this. This is a definite must try!

  2. Angela January 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Really? Curt, you really have to try it–I will bet you could even smoke it!

  3. Karen Harris January 29, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    It is also available at King Soopers. Warm and drizzled with honey is just so good the proper words for its goodness escape me. For once I am speechless.

  4. Angela January 29, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Yes. Yes. Tomorrow there will be honey.

  5. Chris Hamburg January 29, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    There's a local dairy here that makes it. Absolutely delightful served with a drizzle of raspberry syrup or jam. For us non-cooks, it's even good heated in a microwave.

  6. Angela January 29, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    Oh, I would love to have a local source–no such luck here. I will try the nuking technique, it would still be warm and oozy.

  7. Denise Heikinen January 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Looks great! I guess I've not appreciated juustoa except as plain with coffee, the way Dave's relatives have it. They've also stressed that you can only get it from a cow that has recently given birth, something like that, and that I should know the farmer. These restrictions limit opportunities for me to get it. This summer, I'll check out the Copper Country source you name.

  8. Alida January 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    I have never had this, looks incredibly good. Well done!

  9. Denise Heikinen January 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Never heard it called bread cheese. Do they expect people to put it in a toaster?

  10. Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style February 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    This looks really wonderful – makes my mouth water!

  11. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    i have definitely lived under a rock since it's the first time i hear about this. sounds delish tho!

  12. Angela February 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Denise, I think it because of how it looks, but that is just a guess. However, it might be good in the toaster…

  13. WisconsinWehners February 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I never knew juustoa was a specific TYPE of cheese. I grew up calling every type of cheese juustoa. (My mom is a 100% Finnish U.P native.) I'll have to ask her about this! :) Thanks for the link to the U.P. source!

  14. Angela February 24, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    Too funny! It makes sense though…I still don't totally understand calling it "bread cheese." We had some for lunch again just yesterday. So good.

  15. MP October 12, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    It is called breadcheese (leipäjuusto) because it is shaped like bread (kind of :D) :) Greetings from Finland :)

    • Angela October 12, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Hello, Minja! :) Thanks for the from-the-source info!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Easy Saag Paneer | Seasonal & Savory - August 13, 2012

    [...] is really easy to make, but lacking the milk to make a batch, I instead cheated and used a block of juustoa.  You can buy paneer pre-made in Indian groceries or specialty stores, and it does freeze well, or [...]

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