Category: 

What is Jarlsberg?

Sandwich made with Jarlsberg cheese.
Quiche recipes often call for Jarlsberg cheese.
The process of making Jarlsberg begins with pasteurized milk.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
More bank robberies occur on Friday than any other day of the week.   more...

July 30 ,  1945 :  The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed after dropping off key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.  more...

Jarlsberg is a Norwegian cheese which is extraordinarily popular in the United States and in many other parts of the world. The cheese is related to Emmentaler and other “Swiss” cheeses, with characteristic large holes and a creamy, nutty flavor. Jarlsberg tends to lend itself more readily to melting, and is found on sandwiches, in fondues or quiches, and anywhere else where a semi-firm, flavorful cheese might be needed. Jarlsberg happens to be one of Norway's biggest exports, and is considered by some to be a financial success story for the Scandinavian country.

The story of Jarlsberg is the tale of the cheese that almost wasn't. In the 1830s, Swiss cheese makers came to Norway to show Norwegian dairies how to make their classically nutty, sweet, holed cheeses. The Swiss style cheese became very popular, and was produced in large volume for several years before disappearing from the market altogether. In the 1950s, scientists at the Agricultural University of Norway became curious about the cheese and attempted to recreate it, releasing Jarlsberg in 1956 and exporting the cheese in 1961. The cheese is named for the county in Norway where it was originally made in the 1830s.

Ad

Jarlsberg is often marketed as a Swiss style cheese, because it has many of the same characteristics. Jarlsberg, however, is somewhat nuttier in flavor, and tends to be stronger than Emmentaler, as well as sweeter. The cheese is semi-firm and very smooth, without a granular texture, and is delicious eaten plain, on hot dishes, or in the grilled cheese sandwich. In addition, the large holes make it immensely fun to consume.

Jarlsberg is a unique cheese, in that it was developed scientifically in a laboratory and the cheese is still made in a carefully controlled lab environment from a pooled milk supply that originates from all over Norway. It is made from pasteurized milk which is introduced to rennet and special cultures before being cut into curds and whey. The curds are pressed into cheese forms, salted, and allowed to age from one to 15 months.

Young Jarlsberg reaches the market at two to three months of age, and is delicious with a slight zesty flavor. Older aged cheese is sold as Jarlsberg reserve, and has a stronger and more complex flavor. Both types are readily available with or without rinds in many parts of the world, as Jarlsberg has become a ubiquitous supermarket offering.

Ad

Discuss this Article

anon297868
Post 8

Dr. Oz had "Jaslberg Cheese" on his show and the man that was talking about the cheese said that the way that this cheese is fermented it can actually help with lung problems? Is this true? "Does anyone know, or heard the same thing that I did?

picturethis
Post 7

Check at Sam's Club. They have so many kinds of cheese for you to try. Once every other month I try a difference cheese. But nothing has the smoothness of my Jarlsberg.

anon252581
Post 6

Walmart carries it in my area, both regular and Lite.

alex94
Post 4

@sleepwalker- I have not been able to find Jarlsberg cheese either. I found a website that gives some great suggestions for cheese substitutions. For fondue, they recommend using goat, gruyere, and Swiss cheese together if you don't have Jarlsberg.

You use ¼ cup of each of all 3 of those cheeses and then ¼ cup of white wine. It is really great if you add ½ tsp. of nutmeg to it. It makes great fondue!

risotto
Post 3

This is so cool -- I never knew that Jarlsberg had such an interesting history, though I've loved it ever since I first tasted it.

To tell the truth, Jarlsberg cheese is my long-time treat to myself. There's just something about the zestiness combined with the saltiness of a young Jarlsberg that really gets me going.

Whenever I'm in need of a little pampering, I always slice up a little Jarlsberg with some nice water crackers and eat them along with a glass of wine. Perfect cure for any bad day.

KLHChef
Post 2

@SleepWalker - Gruyere is a good substitute and an excellent cheese for fondue. Mix it with a good sharp cheddar or smoked gouda for an extra delicious touch.

SleepWalker
Post 1

I am making a fondue and my supermarket doesn't have Jarlsberg or Emmentaler. They have Swiss but I would like to use something more sophisticated than just plain Swiss cheese. Any suggestions?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email