Discovering Turunmaa cheese of Finland

Unraveling the Unique Characteristics of Turunmaa Cheese

The world of cheese is fascinating and full, with each variety having its distinct characteristics and story. One specialty cheese that remains largely unsung outside its native gates is the Turunmaa. Originating from the Turunmaa archipelago in Finland, this rustic cheese is a remarkable embodiment of the rich flavors, distinct textures, and culinary heritage of its birthplace.

Turunmaa is a semi-hard cheese produced from rich cow’s milk, embodying a beautifully balanced, slightly acidic taste with a subtle hint of the sea. Its ageing period ranges from four to six months, allowing for the development of its unique flavor profile. The cheese boasts a consistent, close-textured body making it ideal for both slicing and melting. The texture is moderately firm but tends to soften around the edges when properly matured, offering a pleasurable mouthfeel to the cheese lovers.

Turunmaa cheese is traditionally enjoyed in local Finnish cuisines, often paired with dark rye bread, reindeer meat, and served alongside locally brewed beverages. However, its versatile flavor and texture make it suitable for a plethora of culinary applications, including grating over pasta, incorporating into salads, or incorporated into gourmet sandwiches.

  • The Turunmaa cheese is a product of Finland’s Turunmaa archipelago region.
  • The cheese is semi-hard, crafted from rich cow’s milk.
  • Turunmaa features a slightly acidic taste combined with a subtle hint of salinity reminiscent of the sea.
  • The cheese matured for four to six months for the development of its unique flavor profile.
  • The texture is firm yet softens around the edges when matured, perfect for a variety of culinary uses.

While Turunmaa might not be as internationally celebrated as its gourmet cheese counterparts like Brie or Cheddar, its authentic flavor and texture make it a marque cheese to discover. The Turunmaa offers a window into the rich culinary culture of Finland, presenting a labyrinth of flavors that’s certainly worth tasting.

Discovering Turunmaa Cheese of Finland: Test Your Knowledge

Welcome to our quiz on Turunmaa Cheese! Explore the hidden gems of Finland's dairy industry and test your knowledge about this unique Finnish cheese. Will you be the expert in Turunmaa cheese? Kick off the quiz now!

Fascinating Depths of Turunmaa Cheese: Ingredients, Mystifying Properties, and Diverse Varieties

Native to Finland, Turunmaa Cheese is a semi-hard variety crafted from cow’s milk. The cultivation of Turunmaa cheese starts with the careful selection of quality milk from Finnish Ayrshire cows renowned for their high-protein and high-fat milk—a prerequisite for any cheese of substantial body and rich flavour. Coupled with this, a friendly symbiosis of crucial cultures, rennet for the curdling process, and salt to enhance its taste and aid preservation shapes the Turunmaa’s notable characteristics.

The resulting cheese has an intriguingly firm but supple texture and features a beautiful array of small holes that contribute to its characteristic visual charm. Its outer rind is characteristically firm, a delightful contrast to its yielding interior. Aesthetics aside, the taste of Turunmaa cheese awakens the palate with the harmonious balance of creaminess, nuttiness, and mild tang. This cheese undergoes a maturation period of about two to three months, imparting it with nuanced depth and complexity— a testament to the art and science of Finnish cheese-making.

In terms of varieties, Turunmaa cheese stands out with a modest but intriguing selection. They include:

  • Turunmaa in Natural Rind: This variety features a naturally developed rind, thereby giving it a more rustic appearance and complex taste.
  • Turunmaa in Wax: To protect the cheese and keep it fresher for longer, this variety is cloaked in wax. This enhances the cheese’s durability and preserves moisture, adding a hint of sweetness to the flavour profile.
  • Smoked Turunmaa: This variety is smoked over birch or alder wood, introducing a delightful smoky edge to the classic Turunmaa profile.

Being such an exquisite item, Turunmaa cheese nestles quite comfortably in the premium range of Finnish dairy products. Combining traditional techniques and the highest quality ingredients, the producing of Turunmaa cheese is a cherished craft that truly embodies Finland’s rich heritage and gastronomic prowess.

Turunmaa: Exploring the Cheese Culture of the Archipelago

Located in the southwestern part of Finland, Turunmaa is a picturesque region nestled within the stunning Åland Archipelago. The distinctive geography, with its 6,700 islands and rocky outcrops, has shaped the unique cultural and culinary heritage of this coastal paradise. While best known for its serene landscapes and maritime activities, Turunmaa is also gaining recognition for its flourishing cheese culture, with local artisans producing exceptional cheeses that capture the essence of the archipelago.

The cheese-making tradition in Turunmaa dates back centuries, influenced by the interplay of Swedish, Finnish, and Russian flavors. The region’s vibrant agricultural practices, which benefit from the fertile soil and mild maritime climate, provide the perfect environment for producing high-quality ingredients for cheese production. Turunmaa’s rich dairy farming tradition, combined with an innovative spirit, has led to the creation of an array of exquisite cheeses that showcase the region’s distinct terroir.

When exploring the cheese offerings of Turunmaa, one will find a delightful assortment of both traditional and contemporary varieties. From creamy cow’s milk cheeses, like the velvety smooth Åland Cream and the tangy yet delicate Brändö Blue, to unique goat’s milk cheeses, such as the earthy and nutty Nauvo Chevre and the aromatic Nagu Mys, there is an option to satisfy every palate.

Embracing the values of sustainable agriculture and artisanal production methods, Turunmaa’s cheese producers prioritize quality and authenticity. They are committed to crafting cheeses with utmost care and expertise, using locally sourced milk as the foundation of their creations. Many of the cheeses are handmade, ensuring a meticulous attention to detail and resulting in exceptional flavors that reflect the character of the region.

  • Traditional and contemporary cheese varieties abound, from creamy cow’s milk cheeses to unique goat’s milk options
  • A combination of rich dairy farming tradition, fertile soil, and a mild maritime climate create favorable conditions for cheese production
  • Cheesemakers in Turunmaa prioritize sustainable agriculture and artisanal methods to produce high-quality, authentic cheeses

Facts and figures

  • Over 95% of the milk produced in Finland is utilised in Finland.
  • Dairy products represent an important part of the traditional Finnish diet.
  • The volume of cheese production in Finland exceeded 100,000 tonnes in recent years.
  • Nearly 80% of the cheese consumed in Finland is actually produced by Finns.
  • Finland is part of the top 10 cheese consuming nations worldwide.
  • The Finnish dairy cow population numbers around 280,000.
  • An average dairy cow in Finland produces approximately 8000 liters of milk annually.

Exquisite Cheese Dishes featuring the Finnish Turunmaa Cheese

Delighting the palette of cheese-lovers worldwide, Turunmaa is a semi-hard Finnish cheese that has long been esteemed in European culinary circles. This cheese is celebrated for its mild, slightly nutty flavour and smooth texture, which makes it an excellent component in various dishes. Here are a couple of recipes featuring Turunmaa cheese, guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to the magnificent world of Finnish cheeses.

The first recipe is Turunmaa Au Gratin. This dish fully harnesses the excellent melting characteristics of Turunmaa cheese, creating a creamy and fulfilling experience. To make Turunmaa Au Gratin, you’ll need:

  • 500g of thinly sliced potatoes
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 200g grated Turunmaa cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In a saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in butter until translucent, then stir in the flour. Slowly add milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in half of the grated Turunmaa cheese. Arrange the thinly sliced potatoes in a baking dish, pour the cheese sauce overtop, sprinkle the remaining Turunmaa cheese, and bake for about 50 minutes until golden and bubbly.

The second recipe is a simple yet flavourful Turunmaa Cheese and Apple Salad. All you need for this dish are mixed greens, thinly sliced apples, chopped walnuts, and slices of Turunmaa cheese. For the dressing, a basic olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper mixture is perfect. The crunch from the apples and walnuts, paired with the creaminess of the Turunmaa cheese, results in a well-balanced salad bursting with fresh flavours.

These dishes not only highlight the beauty of Turunmaa cheese but also provide a delicious introduction to Finnish culinary arts. Whether baked into a rich gratin or served fresh in a salad, Turunmaa cheese offers a touch of Finnish tradition and an unforgettable taste experience.

Unveiling the Culinary Treasures: Harmonising Turunmaa Cheese with Wines and Dishes

When it comes to the culinary world, there are few things more gratifying than perfectly pairing a rich, artisanal cheese with a sophisticated wine or a delightful dish. Turunmaa, a revered semi-hard cheese hailing from the Southwestern archipelago of Finland, effortlessly stands up to highlight. Offering enticing notes of nuttiness followed by a rich, slightly salty finish, its character echoes the complexity of the terroir, making it an excellent focus for cheese board explorations and culinary creations.

Selecting wines that complement Turunmaa can transform an ordinary cheese tasting into an extraordinary gastronomic adventure. A medium-bodied white wine, such as a dry Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc, offers crisp acidity that beautifully offsets the creaminess of Turunmaa, and brings out its intrinsic flavors. The floral and citrus overtones in these wines provide a fitting contrast, enhancing the cheese and the wine in a harmonious yin-yang balance of tastes. Among the reds, a light Pinot Noir can be a harmonious pairing. The berry-infused, subtle earthiness of this wine type resonates with Turunmaa’s earthy undertones, resulting in an elegant symbiosis that leaves a lingering, satisfying finish on the palate.

Moreover, Turunmaa lends itself beautifully to a range of dishes, enhancing their depth and flavor profiles. Consider the following culinary creations for an introduction to its versatility:

  • Grated over creamy pasta: The nutty, creamy notes of Turunmaa are highlighted when grated over rich pasta dishes, adding layers of complexity and a savoury nuance that lingers with each mouthful. It’s particularly delightful over a fettuccine carbonara or wild mushroom risotto.
  • Fondue or raclette: Melted Turunmaa is a revelation in both traditional Swiss raclette or fondue, where its silky texture and complex flavor profile shine through. Serve with a crusty baguette and winter vegetables for an impressive centrepiece.
  • Savoury baked goods: Incorporating Turunmaa into recipes such as scones, muffins or savoury pie crust adds a depth of flavor that’s indelibly satisfying. Its slightly salty finish beautifully complements sweet ingredients like caramelized onions or sundried tomatoes.

In conclusion, whether Turunmaa cheese is paired with the right wine or incorporated into a well-crafted dish, it has the capacity to elevate and deepen the overall culinary experience. Embracing the opportunities it presents enables us to enjoy this cheese in a myriad of delightful ways, enriching our appreciation for its unique character and further expanding our gastronomic boundaries.

Discovering Similar Cheeses to Turunmaa

Turunmaa is a Finnish cheese that originates from the Turunmaa region, located in southwestern Finland. Known for its distinct flavor profile and creamy texture, Turunmaa cheese has gained popularity among cheese enthusiasts worldwide. While Turunmaa cheese is undoubtedly unique, there are several other cheeses that share similar characteristics and flavors. Let’s explore some of these exceptional cheeses that will surely entice your taste buds.


Gouda cheese, originating from the Netherlands, is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It shares similarities with Turunmaa cheese in terms of taste and texture. Gouda cheese has a rich and buttery flavor, often with sweet undertones. It is known for its smooth and creamy texture, which becomes slightly crystalline with age. Like Turunmaa, Gouda cheese is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or melted into various recipes.


Parmigiano-Reggiano, also known as Parmesan cheese, is a hard cheese originating in Italy. While it differs from Turunmaa cheese in terms of texture, being firm and granular, it shares a similar nutty and savory flavor profile. Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged for a minimum of 12 months, resulting in a complex and robust flavor. It is frequently used as a grated topping for pasta dishes, salads, or enjoyed on its own as a savory snack.


If you enjoy the creamy texture of Turunmaa cheese, you might also appreciate the delectable qualities of Camembert cheese. Originating from France, Camembert is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a bloomy rind and a rich, buttery, and slightly tangy flavor. Camembert cheese is often spread on bread or crackers and pairs well with fruits and mild white wines. Its creamy texture and distinctive taste make it a delightful alternative to Turunmaa cheese.


For those who crave an intense and flavorful cheese, Roquefort from France is an excellent choice. This blue-veined cheese is made from sheep’s milk and is known for its distinct sharpness and tangy flavor. The cheese has a crumbly texture and is aged in caves, allowing it to develop unique flavors and aromas. Roquefort can be enjoyed on its own or used as a flavorful ingredient in various dishes, such as salads or sauces.

These are just a few examples of cheeses that share similarities with Turunmaa cheese. Exploring different cheese varieties can be an exciting culinary journey, allowing you to discover new flavors and textures that suit your palate. Whether you prefer the creamy goodness of Camembert or the sharp tang of Roquefort, there is a cheese out there to satisfy every cheese lover’s cravings.

  • Gouda – A semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands, known for its buttery flavor and creamy texture that slightly crystallizes with age.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – A hard Italian cheese with a firm, granular texture and a nutty and savory flavor. Aged for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Camembert – A soft, bloomy-rinded cheese from France with a rich, buttery, and slightly tangy flavor. Often spread on bread or crackers.
  • Roquefort – An intense blue-veined cheese made from sheep’s milk in France. Known for its sharpness and tangy flavor. Has a crumbly texture.

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About the author: Dr. Wolfgang Sender writes on international careers. He is founder of and

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