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Norwegian invention: cheese slicer (ostehøvel)

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The cheese slicer is an easier way to cut cheese made by Thor Bjørklund in 1925. Originally, he created furniture. He wanted a more dynamic way to cut cheese and came out with the tool that is superior to the knife today. You can also use this tool to peel potatoes, asparagus, cucumber, or to create potato chips.

The cheese slicer is mostly used for cheese and also the Norwegian food invention called Brunost or Brown cheese. The Norwegian eating habits article can tell you more about this. The sweet eating habits of Norway also exists for the one who wants to know what sweets are popular in Norway.

Norwegians appreciate things

Norwegians are proud of the cheese slicer and also the Krone, the Kon-tiki, Black metal, and the Vikings. The slicer has changed a bit since its first creation. Not too much, though. It's fair to say we use the same genius solution from 93 years ago. That means either the guy had a solution out of his time like a mastermind, or the ability of Norwegian people to improve things are non-existent. The former answer is more appealing (aPEELing).

On the television

In the tour ''Norge rundt'' or ''Norway around'', we are taken to see the worlds biggest cheese slicer of 7,8 meters. It was raised in 2015 to celebrate that 90 years ago the inventor Thor Bjørklund got his patent on the cheese slicer. They measured it officially to try to get it into Guinness world records.

Ringebu Norway
Ringebu Norway
Ringebu, Norway

Sales

Thor Bjrøklund & Sønner AS created over 50 million cheese slicers until the year 2015. The Ostehøvel is perhaps the most iconic souvenir that you can buy from Norway. It is more than that because of its practicality and improvement of your kitchen's productivity. Another point is that every time your comrade uses your gift they will have you in mind for introducing them to this spectacular invention.

Bankruptcy

In 2009, the brand Thor Bjørklund & Sønner was going to declare themselves as bankrupt. What happened was that they instead kept the production going and this turned out to be a good thing for them. In 2010, Gudbrandsdal Industrier bought the whole thing and is today named Bjørklund.

Making it unpopular

The Dairy Sales Centre in Norway thought that the Norwegians would eat less cheese because of the thin slices that the device makes. Therefore, they tried to shut down the use of it by advising people to ''Throw the cheese slicer''.

Clas Ohlson Narvik
Clas Ohlson Narvik
Narvik Storsenter, Kongensgate 66, 8514 Narvik, Norway

The patent ended

The patent of Bjørklund ended in 1942 which lead to different people producing their own cheese slicers. Big brands who create the Ostehøvel today are Barbantia and Fiskars.

Which is the best slicer?

The best cheese slicer in Norway according to The user inspectors (TV-show in Norway) is the Clas Ohlson slicer. All the judges agreed. Sharp, reliable cutter, and able to being hold properly.

You'll find the Cheese slicer in the big supermarkets like Rema 1000.

Rema 1000 supermarket Narvik
Rema 1000 supermarket Narvik
Rombaksveien 45, 8517 Narvik, Norge

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The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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