Kaffeost: In northern Scandinavia, cups of coffee get enhanced with cheese.
The dried cheese, called juustoleipä (sometimes leipäjuusto or just juusto), absorbs the steaming brew, softening without melting, like a rich, moist cheese sponge...
Juustoleipä translates to “cheese bread,” which not only refers to its dry and sturdy texture, but also its culinary use as a sort of bread-like vehicle for jam, syrup, and, of course, coffee. To make the cheese, milk—once reindeer milk, now often goat or cow milk—gets curdled, baked, and dried into thin rounds. This process not only allows for the cheese to be preserved for up to a year, but invites special preparations when it is ready to be consumed, one of which is kaffeost.
Hriatô: Slovakian winters call for a honey-and-bacon hot brandy cocktail.
...Traditionally served around Christmas, hriatô is relatively straightforward to make. Home cooks begin by frying up bacon in a healthy dollop of lard. Once it’s crisp, they drizzle in honey, allowing the sweet and salty blend to mingle. Finally, they add a stream of potent fruit brandy to the mix.
Hriatô can indeed look a bit unappetizing on first glance. As the cloudy, orangish liquid begins to cool, the fat separates, initially forming glistening droplets on the drink’s surface, then a layer of settled fat. But when enjoyed fresh, the fried bacon bobs in the boozy brew, balancing the honeyed liquid with a savory umami pork flavor.