Møsbrømlefse: the sweet, cheese-filled Norwegian flatbread that keeps Nordlanders nourished during the cold winter2 min read
Once a month, in a 130-year-old building in Oslo, Northern Norwegians congregate. Despite the structure itself used to be a health resort, the community isn’t here for steam baths, but for enjoy møsbrømlefse. Made of lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread, stuffed with møsbrøm, a caramelized goat cheese and syrup reduction, this treat is sweet, gooey, tangy, and as packed with calories and nostalgia.
In Salten, the far-north region where møsbrømlefse originated, dairy and long-lasting ingredients such as flour traditionally held laborers over during long, cold winters. Despite there are as many varieties of lefse as there are towns in Norway, some made of wheat, some of potato or rye, they are all durable and hardy, often dried to keep for long periods without refrigeration and then rehydrated between moist towels before eat it.
The lefse used in møsbrømlefse is made of finely milled wheat and rye flour, buttermilk, egg, and butter, rolled with a special crimped lefse rolling pin, and cooked on a griddle.
To make the mixture (møsbrøm), cooks melt brunost, a caramelized goat cheese, with milk, water, syrup, and flour, to make a sticky gravy. The møsbrøm is then slathered onto the lefse, and covered with a choice of toppings: heart-stopping dollops of butter, sour cream, and a snowy dusting of sugar or, for the purists, nothing at all, neatly wrapped into a tidy packet. As a final step, cooks fold the flatbread for easy eating.
In the past, møsbrømlefse was an energy-dense midday meal, meant to power workers through an afternoon in the cold and in fact its richness was intended to sustain people during long hours of physical, outdoor work.
Now, it’s a sweet snack, or after-school treat for children. While Nordlanders debate the proper way to eat møsbrømlefse (Sour cream or butter? Sour cream should be dolloped or spread evenly? Hands or fork?), there is one thing they agree on: the delicacy treat and rich dollops of caramelized cheese taste like home….
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