Once a month in a 130-year-old building in Oslo, Northern Norwegians congregate. While the structure itself used to be a health resort, the community isn’t here for steam baths; they’re here for 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 as it is with 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. While 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 to eat. 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 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: butter, sour cream, sugar, or, for the purists, nothing at all. 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. Now, it’s a comfort food, a sweet snack, or after-school treat for children. While Nordlanders debate the proper way to eat møsbrømlefse (Sour cream or butter? Hands or fork?), there is one thing they agree on: The pliable flatbread and rich dollops of caramelized cheese taste like home.
Where to Try It
Saltværingen, a volunteer group of people from Salten, run a monthly møsbrømlefse event. All proceeds go to charities helping communities in the North. The event is usually the first Monday of the month, but to be certain, check the group's Facebook page. Come early: The event has been known to run out of møsbrømlefse within the first hour.