Travel with Ostereisen

A “cheesy” Norwegian adventure

Image courtesy of Films of Norway
Nevada Berg (right) gets up close and personal with Norwegian cheese in the miniseries Ostereisen.

Geir Mæland
Films of Norway

Maybe you like cheese … maybe you like Norway?

If you like both, you will no doubt enjoy watching this short miniseries (three 11-minute episodes), which is from Norway and is all about cheese.

Come along on this journey to gain insight into both where and how Norwegian cheese is made. See the animals, the beautiful surroundings, and not least the people behind the traditional production of cheese.

Get to know the series’ host: Nevada Berg, who was born in Salt Lake City but permanently moved to Norway to be with her Norwegian husband.

Nevada settled in Numedal, where she became fascinated by all the natural food that grew right outside her door. Mushrooms, fish, and berries turned into homemade food made a strong impression and inspired her in her work. “I fell so heavily for Norwegian cooking,” she said.

The Norwegian-American cookbook author and food blogger started North Wild Kitchen in 2016 because she wanted to share her new food experiences from Norway. As a program manager for Ostereisen, it is easy to see that she has an enormous passion both for Norway and cooking.

In the first episode of Ostereisen, we come into close contact with both goats and farmers who produce the Norwegian chevre (goat cheese). It is easy to understand that both the surroundings, how the animals are cared for, and the fresh, clean environment  contribute to the good taste. There are few artificial additives, and the focus is on the natural.

In the second episode, we gain insight into the best spreadable cheeses available in Norway. “Snøfrisk” and “Kvitlin,” which are sold in just the delicate boxes, are easy to spread, whether it is on a slice of bread or cracker.

For my part, I have a little favorite that is very easy to make and is good as a starter. Hollow out a medium-sized mushroom and fill it with Snøfrisk cheese, and then top it all off with some bacon and chives. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes; in no time, you have a tasty little delicacy to serve.

In the last episode, we are introduced to the Norwegian alpine cheese. It is made from cow’s milk that comes from cows that roam freely in the Norwegian nature and are well cared for in every way.

Nevada engages in an intimate conversation with a proud cheese producer. This is a small moment in itself, but it is easy to see that when the samples are tested, we are talking about pure pleasure.

I have tasted and enjoyed alpine cheese in the past, but after getting to know more about it and seeing the pleasure in Nevada’s eyes, I can say with my hand on my heart that I will taste that cheese again as soon as I get the chance—I’m already looking forward to it.

Happy streaming from Films of Norway!

Ostereisen is available at filmsofnorway.com.

Production year: 2018
Screenwriter: Cassandra Tanita Brunsvik 
Director: Øivind Lindøe
Photography: White Mountain Productions 
Producer: Matkanalen AS / Øivind Lindøe
Episode run time: 11 minutes  
Genre: Documentary

This article originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Geir Mæland

Geir Mæland is the founder and manager of Films of Norway, a Norwegian film-streaming service based in Stavanger, Norway.