Kalvdans - Gastro Obscura

Meats & Animal Products


A rare, rich pudding made from the milk of a cow who's just given birth.

Swedes like their dairy products fresh, especially when it comes to desserts. No better example of this exists than kalvdans. Looking like a simple milk pudding, this dessert might not seem to be very special, but a closer look at the ingredients list will reveal a unique, and incredibly fresh, kind of milk: colostrum.

Colostrum is the first batch of milk that a cow produces after birthing a calf. As such, kalvdans was a traditional dish among farmers who collected the remaining colostrum after the calf finished feeding. To make the pudding, the milk gets mixed with sugar and standard milk or water, then cooked until it thickens. Because of the high protein content, the colostrum will coagulate into a pudding-like mass. Chefs are advised to keep a close eye on the mixture. A recipe from Magnus Nilsson, a Swedish chef who specializes in Nordic cuisine, says that cooking time can range from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the breed of cow and how quickly it produced the milk after giving birth.

After cooling, kalvdans is often served with jam. The dish is quite rare these days, as not many people keep cows and there are restrictions on the sale of unpasteurized milk. This means that it requires some effort to find it. Those who do track kalvdans down describe it as incredibly rich, resembling panna cotta or crème brûlée. 

Where to Try It
  • No Locations Yet
Written By
CoolCrab CoolCrab