Business developer and motivational speaker Steinar Jøraandstad is from Oslo, but has lived in Lofoten the past 10 years. He raves about Svolvær as a gastronomic mecca.
“Svolvær is on the way to becoming the town you have to experience before you die. A lot has happened with the local cuisine here. Svolvær and Thon Hotel Lofoten have lifted the gastronomic level to new heights,” he explains.
Thon Hotel Lofoten also promotes local products, and chef Stian Haugnes has a wide selection of cheese.
“I love cheese, and we serve local cheese from Aalan Gård – which is produced by a family who lives on the island of Vestvågøy here in Lofoten,” he says.
A family of 11, including in-laws and grandchildren, make their own cheese. At the farm, where Knut Åland was born, the family has 200 goats.
“My wife and I started making cheese in 1996. At first we had our friends taste our cheese, and now we produce six to seven tons in a year. We sell our cheese to local restaurants and shops, but also to the rest of Norway, Svalbard and Denmark. I’ve even shipped our brown goat’s cheese to France,” Knut Åland says.
The cheese farm has 15.000 visitors per year. “A lot of Europeans come here to taste our cheese. A lot of them come from the cruiseship Hurtigruten. But now Chinese and Japanese tourists have started to visit us. They really like our brown cheese," Knut says. His personal favourite is the Capra cheese which has won several awards.