Writer: Thomas Guldbæk, Gaarden
Photo by: Semko Balcerski
When the cooperative movement flourished in 19th century Denmark, far-sighted farmers joined forces in 1888 and established the Cooperative Dairy in Klemensker. In fact, in just a few years, more than 15 cooperative dairies were established on Bornholm.
In 1950, a modernized dairy was built in Klemensker, which was named Bornholmske Mejeriers Andelsosteri.
They started the production of Danablu, which today is made at three Danish dairies. Over the years, this cheese has given the dairy many gold medals and awards.
Today, the dairy is called ‘St. Clemens, Bornholms Andelsmejeri ’and is the only cooperative dairy on Bornholm.
The quality of the milk is crucial for cheese production. To make a first-class product, quality materials are a requirement. Through the cows’ feed, the soil affects the taste. The feed is grown on Bornholm, with its unique soil and climate conditions.
The current dairy director, Per Olesen, is the son of the former dairy director. Cheese has been produced in Klemensker for generations. It is not only the raw material that matters. The milk is different from summer to winter. In the summer, it is softer. Therefore, it requires professional skills to make it successful 365 days a year. They need to know the craft to adjust after the season, and they do.
No other Danish dairies have made blue cheese as long as Bornholms Andelsmejeri, and the taste comes from tradition and craftsmanship. The dairy is constantly being modernized, but some things cannot be changed. For several years, the dairy has worked on finding a method to turn the cheeses automatically. It would make the job so much easier. But they had to give up. It could not be done without compromising the taste. Therefore, they still turn the cheeses by hand in Klemensker.
The Danablu cheese from Bornholm is BGB-labeled. This means that they fulfil the EU rules for terroir cheeses. There are many more exciting quality cheeses at St. Clemens.
The dairy’s butter has also just won the world championship in butter.
Lykkelund Gedemejeri is located on a side road outside Østerlars. When you turn into the small parking lot, you can overlook fields of grazing goats.
In 2017, Lene Schrøder and Lene Mortensen opened the doors to their small dairy, café and visitor farm.
After 20 years as a self-employed veterinarian and veterinary nurse, a holiday in France inspired them to move to Bornholm and open a goat dairy, where they could produce high-quality goat cheese and goat ice cream.
There is still a commute back and forth between the veterinary clinic in Hundested and the goat dairy on Bornholm, but in the summer season, they are both fully employed in the goat dairy. Goats must both be cared for and milked. There must be an open shop and café, and of course, cheese and ice cream must be made.
The goats that deliver the milk are of old Danish landrace. Since the early Peasant Stone Age, a breed has been valued for its milk, its meat and its skin, as well as its friendly and social temperament.
The farm runs organically, and the goats have free access to the large green areas.
It is distinctly seasonal work to follow the goats’ natural annual rhythm. There is a seasonal difference in the milk; they produce less cheese per litre in the spring than in the autumn. The goats have a lot of milk in the spring, but it is thinner. The milk, therefore, produces more cheese per litre in late summer and autumn.
It is a small cheese production, so finding all varieties in the store is not always possible. But as a rule, you can find several types of salad cheese and fresh cheese. The classic chevre, brie, red putty, and sometimes a little blue cheese. There are also always several varieties of goat ice cream. In the freezer, you will also find goat meat and sausages.
On this farm, you will also meet pet pigs, donkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, peacocks, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits …