Produced in northern Sweden


The Västerbottenost story

The internationally-acclaimed cheese known as Västerbottensost can only be produced in the town of Burträsk in Västerbotten in northern Sweden. Nobody knows exactly why. Is it the water, the lush grass or a meteorite strike from outer space that gives it its unique taste? Whatever the secret, this aromatic cheese is hugely popular - and often difficult to get hold of.


Västerbottensost is a hard, granular cheese with a strong, aromatic taste. The cheese is still made according to an original recipe from 1872, and is only ever made at the dairy in Burträsk, using milk from cows that graze in the region known as Norrland in northern Sweden. The texture is grainy, crystalline and intensely rich. Västerbottensost is often enjoyed as a topping on sandwiches, or served on a cheeseboard at the end of a meal. It can also be added as a strong-tasting flavoring in both classic and modern dishes.

Västerbottensost. buffe

Legend has it that back in 1872 a dairymaid named Ulrika Eleonora Lindström inadvertently created the recipe that is the basis for the cheese we eat today. No one knows for sure exactly what happened that day, but according to the stories Ulrika Eleonora was distracted by the attentions of a courting milkman and forgot to tend the curd properly. The resulting cheese was initially considered a failure, but after tasting it people discovered the cheese’s delectable flavors for the very first time.

Västerbottensost. Ny


Västerbottensost bricka


I always have a piece of Västerbottensost in the fridge, and I love the way it really enhances and lifts the flavors in food. 

Sofia Henriksson, Foodcreater and winner of Sweden's Master Chef 2020


Västerbottensost is enormously popular in a number of countries throughout the world, driving up sales every year. Today almost 2,000 tonnes are sold annually, which corresponds to around 140,000 truckles (whole wheels of cheese). But despite this, production rarely keeps up with demand. Few cheese brands are as popular as Västerbottensost, and whenever Swedes are asked to recommend brands, Västerbottensost is always at the very top of their list of internationally-renowned products. The cheese has been awarded numerous prizes, including being recognised as Sweden's finest hard cheese. Today it is available throughout Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Baltic countries, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Iceland.

Helost. Västerbottensost. Ny

Each day milk from local dairy farms located around Burträsk arrives at the dairy. The milk is pasteurized and curdled, and the cheese is then pressed into round molds. It is left this way for 18 hours, and is turned over by hand according to an exact schedule. The pressed cheese is then placed in a special brine solution until it reaches the exact requirements in terms of surface, texture, saltiness and taste.

Aging is the key

After three days at the dairy, the cheeses are transported to the dairy’s cathedral-like storage warehouse in Ånäset to ripen. Here they are stored for at least 14 months to mature and develop their unique flavors and aromas. To determine if the cheeses are ready, samples are removed using a tool called a cheese trier, which cheese master Thomas Rudin then assesses with his experienced palate, sense of smell, sight and touch. The cheeses are only ready when they have been approved based on taste, smell, texture, consistency and appearance.

“Each curd is unique and requires a lot of hands-on care. The milk itself is a natural raw material that varies with the seasons. Making Västerbottensost takes up a lot of my time and is a big part of my life”, says cheese master Thomas Rudin, who is one of only a few people alive who knows the secret recipe for Västerbottensost.


Västerbottensost Sigill

The strength and saltiness of the cheese adds a delicious dimension to any dish. The aroma is slightly tart and fruity, with hints of nuts, and the taste is spicy with suggestions of truffle, caramel and umami - with a deliciously long aftertaste. The cheese is perfect with pasta, risotto or gratinated dishes, enhances both cold and hot sauces and can be eaten as it is on a cheese plate or used in savoury butters. The high quality of the cheese is the result of the love and care that is taken throughout the entire manufacturing process. Every individual step is important, and together they make up the closely-guarded secret that is Västerbottensost. 



Food & Beverage in the Umeå region


Umeå is a fantastic food town. Most of the restaurants, regardless of focus, use produce from our part of the country. So you can be sure to find something with a Västerbotten taste, with the chef’s own twist.