How to make this weird but delicious cheese snack

Cheese marinated in brandy with vanilla. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

How to make this weird but delicious cheese snack
Who can say no to cheese? Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food


Makes: 20-30 bites sized pieces

Level: Very Easy

Time: 15 minutes (including 10 minutes cooking time) plus 50 minutes cooling and marinating time

Great for nibbles at a Swedish-themed party


1 vanilla pod

100ml (1/2 cup) water

100g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

100ml (6tbsp) Xanté (pear brandy)

100g (4 oz) Västerbottensost*, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cocktail sticks for serving

*If you can't get hold of Västerbottensost, use another good quality hard cheese, such as Cheddar.


1. Cut the vanilla pod in two length-ways and scrape the seeds out into a small saucepan. Add the water and caster (superfine) sugar to the pan and heat over a moderate heat, stirring carefully until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

2. Leave to cool and then add the Xanté. (If you are making the marinade a day or two in advance, pour it into a jar, making sure to add all the vanilla seeds too, and store in a fridge.)

3. About 30 minutes before required, add the cheese pieces and gently turn them in the marinade.

4. After 30 minutes, transfer the cheese pieces to a serving dish and garnish with some pieces of the vanilla pod.


–  Make the marinade in advance and keep it the fridge. Bring it out of the fridge a couple of hours before required and then add the cheese to the marinade about 30 minutes before required.

– If you haven't got any Xanté, add some slices of pear in step 1. In step 2 replace the Xanté with 6 tablespoons of brandy. (Eat the pear slices afterwards with some yoghurt: delicious!)

– Provide cocktail sticks as the cheese will be sticky.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, Editor and Founder of Swedish Food.


Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon

If you have some leftover cinnamon from last week's cinnamon bun day, food writer John Duxbury shares his take on this classic salad, adding his own Swedish twist to it.

Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon
The finished and garnished coleslaw. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables so it is not surprising that coleslaw makes a regular appearance at mealtimes in Sweden. Adding cinnamon may seem a little strange, but a small amount adds a little interest. It goes well with robust foods such as with venison burgers.

Serves: 4-5

Level: Very easy

Preparation: 5 minutes (Plus 20 minutes for the cabbage to marinate)
Takes 25 minutes
300 g (12 oz) white cabbage (about half a cabbage)
1 medium cabbage
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Freshly chopped herbs to garnish

1. Remove the core of the cabbage and any blemished leaves.

2. Finely chop the cabbage into long thin strips. (You can do this with a julienne slicer fitted to a food processor if you have one.)

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrot.

4. Mix the cabbage, carrot, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.

5. Tip the cabbage and carrot mixture into a colander and drain thoroughly.

6. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

7. Garnish with a light coating of cinnamon and some chopped herbs.


– Don't add too much cinnamon. It needs to add interest without being overpowering.

– Don't be tempted to use reduce fat mayonnaise. We were, but the coleslaw wasn't nearly as nice as it somehow seemed to make it greasier. The amount of saturated fat in one portion is, in any case, fairly small, at under 2 grams, so we didn't feel too guilty eating coleslaw made with ordinary mayonnaise!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website.