North Sea Cheese
The North Sea family
A sea of flavour
The first North Sea Cheese, the “Vesterhavsost” saw the light of day in 2008, but what no one knew at the time was that this ”primal cheese” was going to evolve to become the mother of all North Sea Cheeses. Over the years, a whole small family of sisters and brothers has sprung up. The common name is:
The North Sea Cheeses
Common to all the North Sea Cheeses is, that they are produced at Thise Dairy from milk from the North Sea area, and that they are all stored for a minimum of 30 weeks at the storage facilities at Bovbjerg. Here, they are matured in an atmosphere of fresh salty North Sea air, but after that, the similarities end and the different family members evolve in different directions.
North Sea Cheese
Winner of Danish Gourmet Award 2008
The North Sea Cheeses are produced at Thise Dairy from milk from the North Sea area, and they are stored for a minimum of 30 weeks at the storage facilities at Bovbjerg Lighthouse close to the North Sea. In 2008 an unanimous judgment panel awarded one of the first North Sea cheeses at the Danish Dairy Industry’s gourmet award “International Food Contest”. The panel of judges justified the award with the words:
”Fantastic. A super cheese. Beautiful structure with good texture, breaks easily, almost crystalized. Good juice and flavour. Great acidity. The cheese has character, and it has the ”terroir” we would like to see, i.e. it is characterized by the natural conditions from where the milk comes, from where the cheese is produced and stored. It has a good history.”
30 weeks at the storage facilities at Bovbjerg is what it takes to give the cheese the award winning qualities.
North Sea Cheese; Smoked
The well-known North Sea Cheese – now with aromatic smoke taste
The North Sea Cheese is produced from milk from 16 Thise farmers all living close to the North Sea. Once the cheese is produced, it is smoked and stored close to Bovbjerg Lighthouse.
The combination of the hard cheese and the cold smoke gives the cheese a light, but very aromatic smoke taste.
Matured for at least 30 weeks. Smoked over beech wood.
Extra matured North Sea Cheese
All of the North Sea Cheeses are continuously evaluated for taste and quality, and already at an early stage of the process, a group of North Sea Cheeses is sorted into a group, which is suitable for an extra-long maturation period. Just as it is with wine, not all vintages are suitable for storage.
The main criterion for the selection is the taste of the cheese combined with the consistency of the cheese. The firmer / harder the cheese is, the more suitable it is for long-term storage. The ’specially selected’ cheeses are stored almost twice as long time as the North Sea Cheeses, and when they are at least one year old, they are ready for sale.
The extra storage time has made the taste and consistency of the cheese more concentrated: Even greater flavour – even harder consistency – even more North Sea.
North Sea Cheese; Grube
Softer, sweeter and quite its own
Basically, the North Sea Cheese Grube is an ordinary North Sea Cheese for the first 30 weeks, but while the other North Sea Cheeses are now ready for sale, phase 2 of the storage process for the cave ripened cheeses starts. They are shipped from Bovbjerg to Hjerm, to Thise´s underground limestone cave, where they are stored for 3 months in an environment composed of a temperature of 9 – 10 °C and an air humidity of close to 100%.
The post-ripening / enrichment of an ordinary North Sea Cheese leaves its distinctive mark on the final result: The North Sea Cheese Grube is softer in consistency than the North Sea Cheese, the taste is sweeter with notes of nuts and fruit, but like the North Sea Cheese, the cave ripened family member still has its fine protein crystals.