Last weekend, the husband and I (still can’t get used to calling him that) were invited by the owner of Búrið cheese shop to attend one of her Cheese School workshops. I sometimes say that I’m a bit immature when it comes to food and beverages because there are still a lot of things that I don’t like. Capers, for example, and I cannot for the life of me understand how people drink gin and tonic. It tastes horrendous to me but I am fully aware of the fact that I’m probably in the minority on that one.
Over the past decade, I’ve made huge strides when it comes to being brave with my food and now I even eat tomatoes. Yes, I spent the first 20 something years of my life avoiding them like the plague. I wouldn’t say I’m a picky eater, I just genuinely think my taste buds are what we call late bloomers. As I get older, though, I enjoy more and more flavors that were too foreign to me before and become more open to trying new things.
Cheese is one of those things that I don’t like (you know, apart from the milder variety such as bread cheese and mozzarella maybe) but I so wished I did like. There’s some sophistication to knowing your cheeses and wines and obviously, I harbor some dream deep inside to be a sophisticated lady. I don’t even like dark chocolate though so I fear I’m a lost cause.
So I am not necessarily the target audience for a cheese school but in the interest of becoming more lady-like, off we went. That and Eirný, the owner, promised that I would not be leaving hungry even though I’d avoid all the cheeses. She was not wrong.
Búrið is a small cheese shop in the old harbor owned by the cheese and slow-food enthusiast Eirný. In the store, she offers cheese, crackers, jams and chutneys they produce themselves along with all kinds of locally produced and imported gourmet products. In the attic above the store, she hosts all kinds of workshops targeted at locals and tourists alike and that’s where the cheese school took place.
In short, the cheese school is lunch with a lecture about all things cheese and dairy in Iceland, aimed at travelers. It was super interesting, I learned a lot more than I thought I would, and nobody left the place hungry. What I enjoyed most was Eirný’s enthusiasm but it is obvious that she both loves what she does and cheese. She’s a wealth of knowledge and no matter which question was thrown at her, she always had an answer.
I found her vivid descriptions of how Skyr was made in the old days by our ingenious foremothers especially intriguing as well as her speculations on how the first blue cheese made it into the country. It had a little bit of history but also addressed cheese making today while we tasted what Eirný talked about. Apart from the cheeses, there was plenty of bread, fruits, vegetables and cold cuts and we even got a yummy dessert when all of that was over and done with.
I don’t want to spoil the fun for you by telling you more but we got to talking with some friendly Canadians who, when they learned I was a blogger and would possibly be writing about this, wanted me to know (and you consequently) that they thoroughly enjoyed the cheese school and would definitely recommend it. So there you have it.
If you are looking for a fun and informative way to spend a lunch while in Reykjavík, I think you can’t go wrong with Búrið’s cheese school. Even if you don’t like cheese (although it definitely helps!).