Jarlsberg Cheese: Everything You Need to Know

What is Jarlsberg Cheese?

Jarlsberg cheese is from Norway and is known for its distinctive sweet and nutty taste. It has large, round holes and a very buttery texture. It is almost sweet whilst having a clean flavor.

It has become popular around the world, with huge sales in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

History of Jarlsberg Cheese

Cheese with holes has been made in Laurvig and Jarlsberg, in the south of Norway, since the 1830s. In 1956, Professor Ole M. Ystgaard from the Agricultural University of Norway began doing research on these cheese recipes, recognizing the value of this type of cheese. During his research he developed a semi-hard, medium-fat cheese with large holes, successfully combining the cheese-making traditions with modern technologies. The new cheese was named Jarlsberg Cheese after the county where the earlier version had been made.

The holes are the result of cheese cultures added according to a secret recipe that is closely guarded. The cultures will create carbon dioxide, making bubbles in the cheese that eventually leave holes.

How to eat it

This versatile cheese is great on a cheeseboard but can also be eaten in a variety of hot and cold dishes.

It’s truly awesome melted onto a burger, perfect for barbecue season. It makes an excellent fondue, ready for dipping in bread, apple slices, and celery sticks. Add it to Mac and Cheese for extra nutty, cheesy flavor. Try it in paninis with ham or mushrooms (or both!). It’s also a great cheese for grating onto any baked savory dish to add a cheesy topping.

For true simplicity, slice it thinly and make a sandwich with your favorite bread. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the flavor of the cheese without distractions.

What to drink with Jarlsberg®Cheese

To complement Jarlsberg Cheese’s sweet, nutty flavor and open texture, choose light, fresh white wines rather than reds. Dry or semi-dry whites made from Chardonnay or Riesling grapes are your best bets. Think Chablis, White Burgundy, or a light, spicy Gewürztraminer.

Jarlsberg Cheese also works well with most beers. For those with a taste for stronger drink, it combines perfectly with Aquavit, a traditional Scandinavian liquor distilled with aromatic botanicals like caraway, cumin, cardamom, orange peel, aniseed, and fennel. This creates an experience you won’t soon forget.

Imported Cheeses

Jarlsberg Cheese is one of our newer imports and we are proud to stock it. We have been adding to our selection and will continue to add more in the future.  Some of our other imported cheeses include Canadian Cheddar, Chevre, Danish Bleu Cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Manchego, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Raclette, and Pecorino Romano.

Have you tried Jarlsberg Cheese? Let us know in the comments.

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