Reindeer Milk Cheese: Must-Try this Summer

Leipaäjuusto with cloudberry jam
Leipaäjuusto with cloudberry jam. Credit: Teemu Rajala/

Hot, cold, hard and gooey - cheese comes in different forms and can be used any way you like with any food or beverage of your choice! Cheese is made using the milk from several animals, right from cows and buffalo to yak, sheep and donkeys. But have you ever thought of trying the elusive cheese made from reindeer milk? There's no harm in experimenting, even with the tasty cheese!

The most popular cheese made from reindeer milk goes by many names, often called Juustoleipä or Leipäjuusto and even just Juusto. Created in Finland, this cheese is also made from cow's or goat's milk, depending on the country of production. What makes this cheese so unique is not just the appearance but the entire process of how it is created right from scratch.

Commonly known as 'bread cheese', Juustoleipä is made from the highly different reindeer milk but commercially produced with cow's milk in places that have next to zero reindeer population. This reindeer milk cheese is dense, similar to feta cheese and with a firm texture. In places where cow's milk is used, special milk from cows that have just given birth is used to get the cheese to the consistency and quality of Juustoleipä. The locals in Finland call it 'squeaky cheese' because of the way the cheese sounds against any diner's teeth!

Leipaajuusto with cloudberry jam
Leipaajuusto with cloudberry jam. Credit: Flickr/Adam Burt/

A favourite among the locals in Finland, this reindeer milk cheese is a popular dish for breakfast because of the bread-like texture and consistency. This cheese is a perfect blend of salty and sweet with low acidity when it comes to taste. The white cheese is curdled and then slightly baked to give the charred taste and smell on the exterior of the rounded disk. Heated on a girdle or a light flame can make this cheese soft, gooey and very tempting, or it can be enjoyed by sprinkling it with honey or maple syrup - like French toast.

Check out the coffee and cheese combination during your trip to Finland or Sweden for the perfect Scandinavian morning meal.