On September 19, Arla Foods introduced four of its premium artisan Unika by Castello cheeses to North America during a tasting event at Aquavit, NYC’s premier Scandinavian restaurant. Asger Jørgensen, president & CEO of Arla Foods, and Liberty Sveke, assistant product manager at Castello presented the history of the Danish cheeses, and discussed the inspiration for the new line. Influenced by Denmark’s local scenery and fauna, the taste and texture of each cheese varies with the seasons and the composition of the cow’s milk.
The four Unika by Castello cheeses, which will be introduced to the U.S. market through New York City’s Scandinavian restaurant scene include:
- Krondild, a dill-flavored cheese inspired by the Nordic tradition of pickling vegetables with dill. Krondild has a pure cheese taste and creamy texture with an aroma of freshly-mown hay and pickled dill.
- Gnalling, a small, dry cheese that was discovered when a forgotten batch of cheese was left to dry out. Gnalling has a hard texture, but melts on the tongue like chocolate. The cheese is dry and crisp, yet mild and harmonic.
- Havgus, a unique semi-hard cheese inspired by the marshlands of southwest Denmark. Aged at least 35 weeks, Havgus has a mild, pure taste, and is filled with small, crispy protein crystals.
- Høgelundgaard, which is based on the traditional Danish blue. Made with yeast and stored without oxygen for 40 weeks, Høgelundgaard has a delicate and well-balanced flavor of blue mold and sweet fruit.
Castello is launching Unika by Castello cheeses stateside in collaboration with Chef Marcus Jernmark of Michelin-starred restaurant Aquavit; Chef Daniel Burns of the Brooklyn-based Luksus; and chef Carl Kristian Frederiksen of the city’s only Danish eatery, Aamanns-Copenhagen, among others.
Jernmark was the first of the city’s Scandinavian chefs to introduce Unika by Castello to the U.S. by adding the cheeses to Aquavit’s menu on September 25. He says of the line, “I appreciate that Unika by Castello is so steeped in Nordic tradition. I think the cheeses will make a great complement to our food concept. Anyone with a passion for fine cheese will not want to miss the complex flavors and textures of our new cheese plate.”
The four specialty cheeses will be available in other Nordic restaurants across the city the week of October 14. New Yorkers can also get a taste of Unika by Castello at the North Nordic Food Festival October 2 – 7.
The Unika by Castello line elevates the already exceptional Castello cheese quality to new heights. Created a decade ago by a group of passionate dairymen and some of Denmark’s most celebrated chefs, the artisanal cheese program is inspired by the Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen. It is an expression of Nordic culture, nature, and history.
A division of Danish Dairy leader Arla Foods, Castello also offers a wide range of specialty cheeses in retail stores nationwide. Castello’s award-winning cheeses are the result a 115-year tradition of skillful production. Arla Foods continues this tradition by building long-term relationships with local communities, reducing food waste, and increasing awareness of natural products and the ties between people, animals and the environment.
In addition to its commitment to local farming, Arla Foods gives back the communities it serves through charitable and educational programs such as the Children for Life Project and Arla’s Closer to Nature™, as well as by forming partnerships with charitable organizations such as Second Harvest in Canada.