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Nøkkelost (Norwegian: "key cheese"), also seen in Swedish spelling as Nökkelost and sometimes called kuminost (cumin cheese), is a Norwegian cheese flavored with cumin and cloves, not with caraway seeds, as many people think.[1] It is semi-hard, yellow, and made from cow's milk. It is made in the shape of wheels or blocks. Nøkkelost cheese is a factory-made variation of Leyden cheese (Nøkkel means "key" - a reference to Leiden's coat of arms),[2] and has been made since the 17th century. Its period of maturation is three months.

There was a version of Nøkkelost manufactured and marketed in the US throughout the 1960s.[3] Kraft Foods first called it "Caraway" then later used "Kuminost Spiced Cheese" on the label.[4] It disappeared in the late 1970s.[citation needed] This cheese is also produced by cheese makers Pleasant Valley Dairy [5] from Ferndale, WA and Three Village Cheese Co.[6] in the Town of Newport, NY.


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