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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cheese to stay in Gudbrandsdalen

The ubiquitous brown goat cheese known as Gudbrandsdalsost G-35 will continue to be produced in the valley known as Gudbrandsdalen, confirms dairy cooperative Tine.

Public outcry was loud last year when Tine (pronounced “tee-nuh”) revealed it was considering moving production of the brunost (brown cheese) to larger plants, to cut costs. The move would have shut down plants in Lom and Skjåk in Gudbrandsdalen, where traditional methods were used to prepare the goat cheese.

Purists likened the proposal to full betrayal of the cheese and its identity, and more than 50,000 people registered protests on Facebook. The most high-profile opponent was local celebrity chef Arne Brimi, who lobbied hard to keep production of Gudbrandsdalsost (ost means cheese) in Gudbrandsdalen.

Now Tine executives have bowed to pressure and say the plants at Lom and Skjåk will continue to produce the cheese, because its brand name and production location was valuable. The decision was based, according to company executive Stein Øiom, on “an acknowledgement that Gudbrandsdalsost has considerable meaning for Tine’s total brand name strength and identity.” Others claimed Tine finally realized that the cheese is simply too dear to local hearts to be moved, and they would have risked losing sales.

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