Sunday, March 30, 2008


Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. -- G. K. Chesterton

Long-time readers of this blog may remember my interest in cheese. We have finally discovered a place where we can get good cheddar cheese: one of the cheese shops in the Hakaniemi market.

More interesting is what happens in the grocery stores. In Finland, if you can find "cheddar" labeled on the shelves, it is usually the orange processed cheese in individually wrapped slices. (We call that American cheese in the USA.) Restaurants also advertise their cheddar cheese on hamburgers, but it is really just this American cheese. In American grocery stores, different colors, sharpnesses, and brands of cheddar are plentiful.

On the other hand, what is called "mozzarella" in American stores is usually found in bags of grated cheese, ready for spreading on pizzas. This cheese is called pizza cheese in Finland. What is labeled as mozzarella is a fine, soft, bright white cheese in rounded blobs, individually wrapped. Even frozen pizzas with mozzarella have slices of that higher-quality cheese on them.

And, the generic label "swiss" cheese in the USA is labeled "emmental" (a specific style of swiss cheese) in Finland.

Finns eat 18.6 kg of cheese per person a year, which is higher than the European average, perhaps because Finnish milk is said to be among the cleanest.


At 12:27 PM, Blogger dhcjrew said...

which cheese shop is this? my father-in-law runs a dry-cleaning service in hakaniemi. i've been looking for some real cheddar since i've moved here last year. the best i could find so far is from Prisma in Sello. Some Irish Cheddar--appropriately named Irsk Cheddar--though i don't recall who the manufacturer was. Although this package of cheese is pre-grated, my burgers taste a little closer to what real cheese-burgers should taste like. They go for about €2.15 @ only 150g per package (about €14 per kg)... a lot cheaper than some of the hard cheeses they have on display.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Keir said...

Some of the bigger K-Markets sell packaged Pilgrim's Choice cheddar in 200g packets. It's a reasonable cheddar.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger David Schultz said...

There are at least two cheese shops in Hakaniemi that I am aware of. Both have had cheddar at one time or another. We usually shop at the shop on the east aisle on the first floor.


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