Cheese Is The New Wine

Cheese is the new wine: Snøfrisk

A week ago, when it was suddenly a gorgeous 80° spring day (compared to the 55° days earlier the same week), my husband, kid, and I took my visiting mother-in-law on a picnic in Central Park. First, though, we stopped into Zabar’s to pick up some things for an outdoor lunch.

For those of you who’ve never been there, Zabar’s cheese selection is absolutely overwhelming. Packed into one corner of the store, there’s a fully-staffed sizable cheese counter (where my Dutch mother-in-law was able to buy a piece of Leyden cheese — a Dutch cheese spiked with cumin seeds), as well as several more refrigerated sections of packaged cheeses… which is where I saw Snøfrisk selling for a mere $0.99.

Can you remember ever seeing halfway decent cheese being sold for a buck? Neither can I.

Still, my cheapness won out over my misgivings and I bought one.

Two days later, I went back and bought another.

It’s that good.

Snøfrisk (meaning “snow-fresh”) is a bit like chèvre and a bit like cream cheese, but less “goaty” as the former and less bland than the latter. The Snøfrisk site offers dozens of recipes for using Snøfrisk (I løve making the “ø”) — many of which, such as their cheesecake recipe, are recipes in which you would have easily used chèvre or cream cheese. I, however, first ate it on a baguette, then on crackers, and quickly realized would have eaten it on virtually anything had I not polished it off so handily.

Made by the people who brought the world Jarlsberg cheese, Snøfrisk was launched at the Olympic Games at Lillehammer in 1994 and has been sold ever since (which is more than you can say for most Olympics-themed products). According to their site, it also comes in dill, forest mushroom and juniper berry varieties. I didn’t see these, but I’ll now definitely seek them out.

Ingredients: 80% goat’s milk, 20% cow’s cream, salt, cultures
Country of origin: Norway
Aged: No. According to their site, the “length of time between milking to finished product is rarely more than two-three days.”
Price: $0.99 (on sale) for a 4.4 oz. container
Final verdict: Versatile and delightful.


  • Beth

    Oh, there’s little I like better than composing a picnic at Zabar’s and then wandering over the the park! But this cheese! And it comes in MUSHROOM?! OH MY GOD. Find it and report, please! Hurry!

  • Kristen

    Julia: Like I mentioned, it’s made by the Jarlsberg people, so it could be easier to find than you’d think.

    Beth: I KNOW. I’m really intrigued by the juniper berry flavor (mostly because I think mmm, gin flavored) but I’d be happy to find any of them.

  • Heidi

    I am very curious to try the juniper berry version as well! Crossing fingers that Whole Foods in Denver has it, this would be great for summer picnics!

    I found you via twitter, very enjoyable reading here!

  • Mike

    Snoefrisk is great. I recently discovered it at a Whole Foods, though it was definitely more than $1. I highly recommend it on Finn Crisp sourdough rye crackers.