Whoever came up with bread cheese deserves a prize. Or a beer. Or a big old thank you from cheese-lovers everywhere.
What is bread cheese, you ask? Picture a grilled cheese sandwich made just of cheese – a lightly browned crust and a creamy cheesy center, no bread in the neighborhood. It's toasted, but it's not toast. Eat it cold and it squeaks like cheese curds. Or heat it up and, rather than melting, it delivers a slice of buttery, slightly caramelized, creamy goodness. Seriously, could there be a more fun cheese?
This cheesy miracle was first made from reindeer milk in northern Finland and Sweden. (We kid you not). If you're not going to the North Pole any time soon, you can count on Wisconsin to make an equally delicious bread cheese. We make our bread cheese with cow's milk. And boy do we make it good.
So, here's to that first Scandinavian dude or dudette who decided to milk a reindeer and turn the milk into bread cheese. Cheese-lovers of the world salute you.
Slap it on the grill. Mix cubes of it with breakfast potatoes. Freeze and deep fry it for a state-fair quality snack. Or dunk it in your morning coffee like the Finns do. Bread cheese can do no wrong.
When it comes to beverages, there's not much you can't pair with bread cheese, but crisp lagers and cold pilsners make a nice treat, as do chilled white wines in the sweeter range – try a riesling, Grüner Veltliner, pinot gris or viognier.
Bread cheese is a cheese that originated in northern Scandinavia and is traditionally made from reindeer's milk. Also known as leipäjuusto or juustoleipä (hoo-stah-lee-pah), which means "cheese bread" in Finnish, bread cheese is made from curds that resemble feta cheese. The curds are pressed into blocks and baked, forming a toasted crust as the sugars on the outside of the cheese caramelize. A finished piece of bread cheese resembles a slice of French toast. Bread cheese has a mild, salty flavor and chewy texture. Like halloumi, bread cheese softens but keeps its shape, but will not melt under heat.
Bread cheese starts off like any other cheese, with curds. It's a semi soft cheese that is pressed into a loaf shape. The final step in this process it is toasting the cheese. The crusty golden exterior comes from the sugars on the outside of the cheese caramelizing. You can slap a slice on the grill, bake it in the oven, sauté it in a pan, or even microwave it in a pinch. Either way you'll end up with a flavorful one of a kind cheese.
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Why choose Wisconsin when you have a hankering for juustoleipä? Chutzpah.
For more than 175 years, our cheesemakers have been boldly pushing the boundaries of what cheese can be. Show us a cheese – any cheese – and we'll find a way to make it, and then make it better. We're obsessively dedicated to making more flavors, styles, and varieties of cheese than anywhere else on earth. So, when you need your fix of a wildly original creation like bread cheese, who you gonna call? A Wisconsin cheesemaker.
It's that same chutzpah along with plenty of know-how that has earned us 5,552 cheese awards. (That's awards for cheese, not made of cheese – though come to think of it, awards made of cheese does sound kinda tasty…). That's more awards than any state or country in the world. That's what happens when a whole state dreams in cheese.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.