Prästost ("priest cheese") is a Swedish cheese with historical roots in Sweden's one-time custom of paying tithes with agricultural goods including milk. It was common for the church to make cheese from this milk from the 16th though 19th centuries. Today, this style of cheese once produced in churches across Sweden is factory-made from pasteurized cow's milk.
Prästost is sometimes soaked or cured in whisky or other spirits; Saaland Pfarr is one such whisky-soaked variant. A version of prästost aged for 12 months and cured in Absolut vodka has been marketed as VODCheese.
A 1969 USDA booklet describes the manufacturing technique for one whisky-cured style of prästost:
- Fresh, whole milk is set with rennet at a temperature of 90°F. When the curd is very firm, it is cut coarsely, then put in a sieve to allow the whey to drain off. The curd is collected in a cloth and kneaded to expel more whey. Whisky is mixed with the curd, then the curd is packed in a basket and salt is sprinkled on the surface. Curing is done in a cool, moist cellar. The cloth covering is changed daily for 3 days, and the cheese is washed with whisky after the third day.
- Ridgeway, Judy. The Cheese Companion: The Connoisseur's Guide. Quintet Publishing. ISBN 0-7624-0500-7. p. 20
- Carlton Brown, Robert (1955). The Complete Book of Cheese. Gramercy Publishing Company: New York, 1955.
- Cheese, Sweden. Product review. Igourmet.com, 2007.
- Doane, C.F.; Hargrove, Robert C.; Lawson, H.W.; Matheson, K.J.; Sanders, G.P; Walter, Homer E. (1969). Cheese Varieties and Descriptions. U.S. Department of Agriculture. p. 95.