What Is Raejuusto?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Also known as keso, raejuusto is a cheese from Finland. It has a similar flavor and consistency to cottage cheese, and may be used in place of this cheese in most recipes. Cheeses similar to raejuusto include Swedish grynost and Danish hytteost.

Raejussto is very versatile and can be used in enchiladas.
Raejussto is very versatile and can be used in enchiladas.

Raejuusto is one of many cow's milk cheeses. In Finland, the cheese is most often used as a garnish, particularly with soups. Serving the cheese with vegetables, such as cucumbers, is another popular way of eating it. The mild flavor of the cheese makes it an optimal snack for people with weak or upset stomachs, such as people recovering from surgery.

Raejuusto is made from cow's milk.
Raejuusto is made from cow's milk.

In order to provide flavor for this bland cheese, salt or sugar are often added to the final product. The cheese itself is produced by pressing what is known as cottage cheese, which results in a different sized curd. Some people refer to this cheese as simply curds. It is usually easy to find in most grocery stores, cheese shops, and supermarkets.

The soft, fluffy texture and cool dampness of raejuusto makes it highly versatile, and it can be used in everything from sandwiches to enchiladas. Savory dishes that call for ricotta cheese, such as lasagna, can include this cheese as a lighter substitute. Some people flavor the cheese with olive oil and black pepper. Raejuusto may be served within salads, or as a dessert when mixed with any type of fruit puree. Like cottage cheese, the cheese can be used in various gelatin salad recipes as well.

Depending upon the brand of raejuusto purchased, the texture and consistency of the cheese can greatly vary. Some types of the cheese are very wet, with a more liquid base. Drier forms also exist for those who prefer a more solid consistency. The drier forms often taste creamier as well.

Another similarity between raejuusto and cottage cheese is that both are low in calories and fat compared to other cheeses. A standard serving of raejuusto usually contains about 80 calories. The cheese is also high in protein, making it a filling, healthy snack. When served with fruit or whole grain toast, it can provide a dieter with a low-calorie meal.

This cheese is frequently eaten by pregnant women, as it is considered one of the safest cheeses to eat. Bodybuilders also enjoy snacking on keso, as its high protein content allows them to retain their strength and healing ability following strenuous activities.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments


The Finnish word raejuusto is combined of two words, "rae" (a grain of something) and "juusto" (cheese), in English something like "grainy cheese". In Finland, the Swedish speaking majority calls raejuusto grynost (not hytteost!), and the Swedish word is combined of two words as well: "gryn" (a grain of something) plus "ost" (cheese).

Here in Finland we have two kinds of raejuusto. The most popular kind, manufactured by Valio, has big buttonlike grains, the size of a child's nail. Raejuusto manufactured by Arla Ingman is smoother and resembles more of cottage cheese. Arla Ingman also makes Keso, which is even smoother and cottage cheese -like.

Especially Valio-type raejuusto is very popular in Finland. Many eat it just plain, as a healthy protein snack, or on top of a slice of rye bread, but it is also very common to add raejuusto to salads and fruit salads. Raejuusto can be used both in savoury dishes and in various puddings to add protein and substance without too many calories.

I hope this clears things up a bit,

Anneli Miljard

Helsinki, Finland

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