Torrlids Fäbod, Älvdalen, Dalarna

Torrlids Fäbod, Älvdalen, Dalarna

This is a mountain summer farm in Sweden, a ”sheiling” in Scots. This ancient tradition of taking animals to summer grazing used to be commonplace however sadly is diminishing – indeed now non-existent in Scotland.

Margareta and her daughter Johanna produce unique butter, cheese and messmör from their cows who forage in the forest, made using their own starter culture (extremely rare these days). Dad pops up each evening from work in the village below. With no electricity at Torrlid, cheesemaking is over a log fire and the cool clear water is from their own well.

You can hear cow bells as cattle graze the tree strewn meadows, and they serve “tunnbröds” fine home made potato based crepes rolled, buttered, with their cheese or messmör, along with lashings of excellent coffee and creamy milk straight from the cow. The cows return for milking and stay in overnight, safe from predators (bears and wolves) and in the early morning the cheesemaking begins.

The messmör is not ready until much later in the day as this sweet whey butter takes 8 hours of stirring to reduce and caramelize. Most definitely Slow Food. We had an absolutely brilliant time (our fifth visit) and were made very welcome. If you wish to experience this very precious food adventure it is only available during the month of July each year. Be sure to bring a chill box with you for your purchases!