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Jarlsberg…Swiss or Norwegian Cheese?

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Copyright Jarlsberg 2009

Copyright Jarlsberg 2009

Actually, it’s both.

Its Creator, a Norwegian farmer, Anders Larsen Bakke, invented this cheese in the 1850s after being taught the art of cheese making by some friends who made cheese in Switzerland. He lived in the County of Jarlsberg. In the early 1900s, production of this cheese ceased. However, in the 1950s a Professor at the Agriculture University of Norway and a few of his students decided to resurrect this cheese and developed the recipe that is now used to produce Jarlsberg commercially. Today it is produced primarily at the Tine BA factory in Western Norway. However, Alpine Cheese in Ohio and Dairygold in Ireland are licensed to produce this cheese.

Jarlsberg is an all-purpose cheese. It works as well as a table cheese for snacking as it does on sandwiches and in cooking. This semi-firm, yellow cheese has a mild, nutty and buttery flavor. It is also just a little sweet in taste. It is a favorite of The Man.

It is one of the least expensive cheeses that The Lady sells at her kiosk. The Lady read at wikipedia that a ton of this cheese is eaten every hour in the United States alone…now that’s a lot of cheese…and does NOT include the amounts put in mousetraps every night around the world.

This cheese is a favorite of mine whenever I am trying to catch a tasty morsel of Apodemus alpicola…they just can’t resist the smell of this Alpine-inspired cheese…tee hee.

I give Jarlsberg 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: In addition to being my Number 1 choice for a mousetrap, Jarlsberg works well on a platter with fruit, particularly grapes. It is also excellent as a part of a grilled Reuben or on a rare roast beef sandwich. Melt it on just about any veggie casserole or alone as the main ingredient of a grilled cheese. No matter what you do with Jarlsberg, it’s bound to be a success.

Wine Pairings: Light Red or most any White

Beer Pairings: Pilsners, Extra Special Bitters, Pale Ales, IPAs, Double Bocks, Wit Ales

Awards: Best All Purpose Cheese – 2007 – Christian Cooper Cheese Awards

8 comments on “Jarlsberg…Swiss or Norwegian Cheese?”

  1. carlae

    HI Ya, from what I understand only the loaves of Jarlsberg and the lite Jarlsberg will be made in Ireland and Ohio. The wheels will continue to be made in Norway.

    I found your great website when I was going some research on cheese. I’m the Jarlsberg broker in Seattle, thanks

  2. cheesemonger

    Carla, thanks for the visit and the information. It’s good to know which Jarlsberg will be made outside Norway.

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