It’s not often that cheese and the phrase road traffic accident is mentioned in the same news report, but it was today. After burning for five days, a fire in a road tunnel near the northern coastal town of Narvik in Norway has finally been extinguished. And the cause of the fire: 27 tonnes of brunost, a Norwegian brown cheese delicacy.
Brunost, which has a caramel taste, is made from whey and has around a 30% fat content; hence the fierceness of the fire. A spokesman for Norway’s public roads administration, Kjell Bjoern Vinjie, said that in his 15 tears in the department, this was the first time that cheese had caught fire on Norwegian roads. The tunnel is closed for repairs and remains unsafe due to the presence of toxic gasses.
So while smoked cheese can be a delicacy, it appears that burning 27 tonnes of it is a health hazard.