Country of origin: Finland
Type: semi-hard, artisan
Fat content: 12%
Flavour: salty, sweet
Aroma: fresh, pleasant, sweet
Synonyms: Leipäjuusto, Finnish squeaky cheese, reindeer cheese, juusto
Juustoleipä (cheese bread), also known as leipäjuusto (bread cheese) or juusto, originally comes from Southern Ostrobothnia, Northern Finland and Kainuu. It is known in English as 'Finnish squeaky cheese'. Other dialects have various names, such as narskujuusto that depict the way that fresh leipäjuusto "squeaks" against the teeth when bitten. Among all its synonyms, leipäjuusto is the more commonly known name.
Leipäjuusto is a fresh cheese made from cow's beestings, rich milk from a cow that has recently calved. It can also be made from reindeer or goat milk. The cheese is 'toasted' during its preparation. It contains about 20 to 22% fat, while lighter versions contain about 12% fat.
Traditionally, people used to let leipäjuusto get totally dried so that they could store it for several years. For eating, they used to heat the almost rock-hard leipäjuusto cheese on fire to soften it and produce an appetizing aroma. Even today, the cheese is dried by keeping it in a well-ventilated area for a few days. But, unlike its older version, it has a mild flavour.