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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Place-making with goats and microbes: The more-than-human geographies of local cheese in Jämtland, Sweden

Eriksson, Camilla; Bull, Jacob


Since the 1940s Swedish rural policy has shaped agriculture and food production into a rational, large scale and specialised industry, focused on food hygiene. However, in Jamtland pockets of resistance remained where small-scale farmers continued to produce local cheeses. As rural policy has shifted towards favouring the local and traditional within Geographic Indication frameworks, these cheeses are receiving more attention from policymakers as well as consumers. During the last 10-15 years local cheese making has been revitalised with the introduction of sophisticated techniques and new knowledges on how to work with microbes to create more distinct, local cheeses. Bacteria cultures and moulds are treasured and explicitly considered in ways that were previously tacit. As this paper shows the development of these new cheese-making processes owe a lot to imported knowledge and microbes from France. The paper goes on to discuss how these 'cultural imports' combine with local knowledge and microbes to enable different narratives of locality, 'authenticity', and 'traditional' within contemporary cheese-making. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


More-than-human; Artisan cheese; Quality food; GI frameworks; Rural policy

Published in

Journal of Rural Studies
2017, Volume: 50, pages: 209-217

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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