Jarlsberg Cheese 101: Everything You Need to Know about this Popular Cheese

Are you a fan of cheese? If so, you’ve probably heard of Jarlsberg cheese. This popular cheese hails from Norway and is known for its mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Jarlsberg cheese, from its origins and production process to its flavor profile and best ways to enjoy it. Whether you’re a cheese aficionado or just looking to learn more about this delicious dairy product, this article has got you covered.

History of Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese is a popular type of cheese that originated in Norway. It was first created in the 1950s by a group of Norwegian dairy producers who wanted to develop a cheese that was similar to Swiss Emmental. The cheese was named after the county of Jarlsberg, where it was first produced.

Origins of Jarlsberg Cheese

The origins of Jarlsberg cheese can be traced back to the town of Jarlsberg in Norway. The cheese was initially developed as a collaboration between dairy producers in the region who wanted to create a cheese with a mild, nutty flavor and large, irregularly shaped holes similar to Swiss cheese.

Production Process

The production process of Jarlsberg cheese involves using cow’s milk, rennet, and specific cultures of bacteria. The milk is heated and mixed with the cultures and rennet, causing it to curdle. The curds are then cut and drained before being pressed into molds and aged for several weeks to develop their characteristic flavor and texture.

Evolution of Jarlsberg Cheese

Over the years, the production of Jarlsberg cheese has evolved to include variations such as light versions with reduced fat content, smoked versions for added flavor, and even organic versions made with milk from grass-fed cows. These adaptations have helped to keep Jarlsberg cheese popular among consumers worldwide.

Characteristics of Jarlsberg Cheese

Flavor Profile

Jarlsberg cheese is known for its mild and nutty flavor. It has a slightly sweet and buttery taste with hints of caramel and hazelnut. The flavor is not overpowering, making it a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods.


Jarlsberg cheese has a smooth and creamy texture. It is semi-soft and slightly elastic, making it easy to slice or shred. The texture of Jarlsberg cheese makes it ideal for melting, making it a popular choice for dishes such as grilled cheese sandwiches, fondue, and cheese sauces.


Jarlsberg cheese has a mild and pleasant aroma. It is not overly pungent or sharp, making it appealing to a wide range of palates. The aroma of Jarlsberg cheese is often described as slightly sweet and nutty, adding to its overall appeal.

Popular Uses of Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese is a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some popular uses of Jarlsberg cheese:

Cheese Platters

Jarlsberg cheese is perfect for cheese platters due to its mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture. It pairs well with a variety of crackers, fruits, and nuts. You can also pair it with other cheeses to create a diverse cheese platter for your guests to enjoy.

Cooking and Baking

Jarlsberg cheese melts beautifully, making it ideal for cooking and baking. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as quiches, gratins, and sandwiches. Jarlsberg cheese adds a rich and creamy flavor to any dish, making it a popular choice for chefs and home cooks alike.

Pairing with Wines

Jarlsberg cheese pairs well with a variety of wines, making it a great addition to any wine and cheese pairing. Its mild and nutty flavor complements both red and white wines, making it a versatile cheese for wine lovers. Try pairing Jarlsberg cheese with a crisp Chardonnay or a fruity Pinot Noir for a delicious combination of flavors.

Health Benefits of Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese offers a range of health benefits that make it a great addition to your diet. Here are some of the key advantages:

Nutritional Value

Jarlsberg cheese is packed with essential nutrients that support overall health. It is a good source of calcium, protein, and vitamin B12. Additionally, it is low in carbohydrates and sugar, making it a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet.

Calcium Content

Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as supporting muscle function and nerve transmission. Jarlsberg cheese is an excellent source of calcium, with a single serving providing a significant portion of your daily recommended intake.

Protein Content

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, as well as supporting immune function and hormone production. Jarlsberg cheese is a rich source of protein, making it a satisfying and nutritious snack or addition to meals.


In conclusion, Jarlsberg cheese is a versatile and popular cheese that has gained worldwide recognition for its unique and delicious flavor profile. From its origins in Norway to its widespread availability in grocery stores around the globe, Jarlsberg has become a staple in many households and restaurants. Whether you enjoy it on a cheese platter, in a sandwich, or melted over your favorite dish, Jarlsberg cheese is sure to delight your taste buds with its nutty and slightly sweet taste. So next time you’re looking for a delicious and versatile cheese option, be sure to reach for a wedge of Jarlsberg.