“I didn’t know that brown cheese burns so well,” said Kjell Bjoern Vinje of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The inferno that occurred when close to 27 tons of caramelized goat cheese caught fire proves that, in fact, it does.
A truck carrying the Norwegian delicacy, known as brunost, was being transported through a tunnel near Tysfjord in northern Norway when the driver noticed that his cargo was on fire. According to the BBC, the driver abandoned the burning truck about 1,000 ft from the tunnel’s southern entrance, as the cheese burned on. The tunnel and two miles of road were shut down as firefighters attempted to battle the blaze.
But not only did the goat cheese burn, it proved extremely difficult to put out. The fire raged for five days and filled the tunnel with toxic gases that have hampered recovery operations, officials said. According to the website Nordic Nibbler, brunost is not technically a cheese in the traditional sense but boiled, carmelized goat’s milk whey — a sweet, salty brick of dairy product that can contain up to 30 percent fat.
That high concentration of fat and sugar made it burn “almost like petrol,” police officer Viggo Berg told the BBC. The tunnel, which is reportedly badly damaged, is likely to remain closed for several weeks.
No one, apart from the brunost lovers waiting for their shipment, was hurt in the incident.