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A soft, sweet Norwegian cheesemade of cow milk. Jarlsberg cheese is a mild, Swiss Emmentaler-style, cow's-milk cheese that has large irregular holes. It has a yellow-wax rind and a semifirm yellow interior. The texture is buttery and rich, and the flavor is mild and slightly sweet. It is an all-purpose cheese, good both for cooking and for eating as a snack. It has a characteristic smooth, shiny-yellow body, and a creamy supple texture. But Jarlsberg's most notable attribute is its exquisitely mellow, nutty flavor. Jarlsberg Special Reserve is produced in Norway in limited quantities. It is aged a minimum of 12 months and is distinguished by medium to large holes.

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    8 Reviews
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      14.07.2009 14:42
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      A great cheese to try which is fairly new to the market in this country

      I originally tried Jarlsberg cheese when travelling in Scandinavia where it is incredibly popular and is used as frequently as cheddar is here. It has since become much easier to get hold of in the UK and is now a cheese you can find in all supermarkets in ready packaged blocks and even in the ready sliced varieties.

      The cost in the UK used to be pretty high due to lack of availability (I assume) but it has now dropped in line with other cheeses and it is possible to pick up a wedge for around £2. In Asda they sometimes even have it on special offer for around £1 per pack.

      In appearance this cheese is like a cartoon cheese, what I mean by this is it is very holey and the holes can be quite big. Slicing from a block can be an amusing affair with a slice being as much part hole as it is cheese. It is a creamy colour rather than a yellow and tends to have a yellow/orange wax layer.

      In texture it is akin to Edam, being fairly rubbery, I wouldn't say this is a hard cheese but it is solid in feel and not crumbly or soft at all. This is a cow's milk cheese and is therefore unsuitable for people with dairy allergies.

      The taste is my absolute favourite thing about this cheese. It has a delicious, mild, creamy, nutty and slightly sweet taste which works so well in toasties and anything where it is melted because it goes deliciously stringy. This is a very adaptable cheese and works well when melted on pizzas, burgers and as I said above, in toastes or on toast on its own.

      As well as these uses it also goes nicely on a cheeseboard as a mild balancing cheese to contrast with stronger cheeses. I think it tastes lovely on biscuits for cheese too and with fruit.

      Overall this is a cheese which is becoming widely available and at a good price. Not too strong and very versatile, if you have not tried it yet I would recommend you do - be warned though, one slice is never enough!

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        25.06.2009 01:36

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        Give Jarlsberg a taste!

        Jarlsberg is a hard cheese made from cow's milk that was founded in Norway. You can buy Jarlsberg in the UK but it isn't as common and easy to find as some more popular cheeses but most large supermarkets and delis do stock it.

        You can buy it with the rind on (it has a distinctive red, yellow and orange rind) or you can buy it already sliced which is my favourite option as it's more convenient.

        I love Jarslberg in sandwiches, on toast and in burgers. It's my favourite cheese and i also love to melt it onto home made pizzas - it has a subtle nutty flavour quite similar to Emmental but it is slightly sweeter - if you can describe a cheese as sweet!

        It is a very pale, cream colour and has irregular holes all over which make it look as though it's been nibbled by a mouse! I buy large packs from Makro for a fraction of the supermarket price but if you're trying Jarlsberg for the first time i recommend heading to your supermarket deli counter and buying a wedge with the rind on to fully appreciate it's full flavour.

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        06.05.2009 09:39
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        Takk......that means "thank you" in Norwegian!!

        For the last five years, we have acted as a "host family" for Norwegian teenagers, coming over to do a year at an English school. This means that over the years, we have come to try bits and pieces of food that we would not ordinarily have bought.

        In our house, we eat quite a lot of cheese - generally in sandwiches and salads for packed lunches. Typically we would use a fairly strong cheddar, but early on, it became apparent that the Norwegians didn't like our cheese because it was too strong - even the milder UK cheeses were being left at the side of the plate.

        When asking what they would prefer instead, the answer came back - "Jarlsberg".......and so began our quest.

        Five years ago, finding Jarlsberg in our City was very very difficult, and I had to go to the specialist cheese truckle to get it - needless to say, the price was quite high, but the Norwegians were incredibly grateful for a little taste of home. The lump of Jarlsberg that appeared in our fridge would be reserved for the Norwegians, due to the cost and difficulty of getting it, so the rest of us didn't really get an opportunity to sample it.

        Since then, Jarlsberg has become much easier to come by, with many supermarkets having prepacked wedges of it in their fridges, and even ready sliced packs of 10 slices - ideal for sandwichese. Of course, with the wider availability, the price has come down too, and Jarlsberg is no longer the expensive treat it once was. And no longer is it restricted to those who speak Norwegian.....

        So, what is it?

        Well, it is a cheese that is very similar in many ways to Edam, or some of the Swiss cheeses - it is made from cows milk, and forms a large "disc" covered with a protective waxy outer layer.

        When you cut a chunk, or a slice, though, you will see (unlike Edam, but like some of the Swiss cheeses) that it is very "holey" - perfect cartoon cheese! The picture above shows some holes, but generally, I find that they are larger than that, which can make slicing it a little comical at times, as there seems to be more hole than cheese in some bits!

        The cheese is quite rubbery in texture, and it is one of those that you may shun because of that, but, again, I find it no more rubbery than many other cheeses I have sampled over the years.

        Now to the taste - it is a mild tasting cheese - probably 1 or 2 on a taste scale of 1-5, and probably more towards the 1 than the 2 - ok, so 1.5 on a scale of 1-5.

        The difference to those continental rubber holey wax covered cheeses though is the slight nuttiness to the taste. It is subtle, but definitely there - I am not sure what they do to it to obtain it, but I think it really does set Jarlsberg apart from the others.

        Jarlsberg is ideal for putting in sandwiches - my children love it and I frequently get notes from them asking me to buy it with the weekly grocery shop. Because of its wonderful holey appearance and slightly nutty taste, it is also a wonderful addition to a cheese board, to offset some of the stronger cheeses, and to make a change from the wedge of Edam that might have normally found its way on there.

        As mentioned above, Jarlsberg is now available in many chiller cabinets - keep your eye out for it next time you are in the supermarket and give it a try!

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          15.11.2008 16:10
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          A versatile cheese with a sweet and nutty flavour.

          Jarlsberg cheese named after the Norwegian county where it was first made,maybe doesn`t have the popularity of Emmental,but it is a versatile all purpose cows milk cheese.
          It can be used in cooking,as well as being a welcome addition to any cheeseboard,sandwich or salad.
          It is very similar in appearance to Emmental,a golden waxy rind,with a nutty,mild ,rich,mellow,slightly sweet and shiny golden interior filled with irregular holes.
          Jarlsberg was the creation of a Norwegian dairy farmer,Andres Larsen Bakke,way back in the 1850`s,and is now one of Norway's largest exports.

          It is a very firm favourite of mine,especially for cooking purposes.
          Jarlsberg melts beautifully and has a subtle flavour that will sit in the background rather than overpower other ingredients.

          Jarlsberg cheese has a slightly lower fat content than Swiss cheeses.

          We really enjoy making ourselves a large ,colourful mixed salad..take a bunch of leaf salad,Radicchio, tomatoes, corn and a few black olives ,toss the whole thing in a few drops of Extra virgin olive oil and then season to your liking.
          Take a paring knife and slice some Jarlsberg ,as the paring knife enters the cheese the `nutty` aroma is set free,and the cheese will develop a very slight curl.
          Pop the cheese on top of the mixed salad and then serve for supper with warm crusty bead ,a glass or two of wine,or a cold beer...A great summers evening meal.

          One ounce of Jarlsberg cheese has 106 calories and 8 grams of fat.
          250 grams is about £2.09 in most leading supermarkets.
          You can also buy Jarlsberg slices too which cost around £1.69 for 160 grams.

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            19.07.2008 18:41
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            great if you're not a fan of strong cheeses

            Mmmm. Jarlsberg is one of my favourite cheeses. Usually I'm a fan of the soft french cheeses like brie and goat's cheese and can eat them all day, but when I go to my parents' house and they've got Jarlsberg in the fridge ... Well, blink and it's gone.

            First up, it has so much visual character. It comes from a big wheel with a bold red and blue label. It's orangey-yellow on the outside, and pale yellow on the inside, and has mouse holes in for extra bonus points.

            The texture is springy, slightly rubbery, and the edible rind is a little more crusty - it's actually a nice combo. Flavour-wise, Jarlsberg is mild, sweet and characteristically nutty. My only foible is that it also has a tangy aftertaste which isn't so nice if you let it sit in there and not follow it with something! :)

            All in all, a great cheese for snacking on, particularly with bread or crackers. I wouldn't eat it with something strong like rye bread as it might overpower the cheese. It's incredibly moreish though, so invest in some jacobs!

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              18.03.2003 04:34
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              Have the mice been in my fridge? No they haven?t, but if you take one look at my cheese you would swear that they had taken a nibble here and there. (My mum used to tease my sister and I when we were younger about little mice nibbling the cheese) Joking apart the cheese I am talking about is Jarlsberg cheese. This particular cheese is Norway's major cheese export. The price at the moment in Tesco is £7.49/kg. Most major supermarkets sell it. I have always loved Jarlesberg cheese in fact I like most cheeses except the smelly ones like Danish blue. When I buy it, it comes in a clear cellophane wrapper or sometimes it comes in white papery/waxy kind of wrapper. I either buy it in a thin wedge or ready sliced, depending on where I shop. If you bought the whole cheese you could buy it in a round 22-pound shape with yellow rind, or a 12-pound rindless loaf shape. The cheese comes with holes in it. (hence the mice) It is a Semi-soft cheese and slightly rubbery to the touch. It has a very pale yellow colour. The taste is mellow/ mild yet individual. It can also be described as slightly chewy. You will either take to this cheese or not. Some people say it has I nutty flavour, I myself disagree, unless my taste buds are not working properly. I would say a little fumy but not in the way it sounds. I mean a nice fumy taste. It is made with half-skimmed-pasteurised milk plus other ingredients. It gives us all of the usual benefits such as protein/calcium etc. But good news for dieters it is slightly lower in fat and calorie content. This cheese is fabulous on its own but if you want to get a french stick a bunch of grapes and a good bottle of wine then go ahead. Sit back and enjoy. You can of course use this cheese in a hundred and one recipes from hors d'oeuvres to pastas, fish or meat. Try it for yourself, I would appreciate your comments on this cheese.

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                20.07.2001 20:09
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                Many cheeses come and go from the inside of my fridge, many will make a return visit, others will never darken my doors again. To say that cheddar is a constant would be true, though the make has never been because I just can't find one that tips the balance in it's favour and makes me want to stick with it. Goats cheese, yes good, danish blue or stilton depending on whether I have any port in the house at the time. So many cheeses so little space. Norwegian Jarlsberg, however, is a true friend and constant visitor to Mr Tummy. (I apologise now for that sentence!) Jarlsberg cheese is made from pasteurised cows milk and was first produced in 1815. So it's really a Great - Great Grandfather of the cheese world. How lovely it would be to say it is manufactured in picturesque little farms. On the contrary, it is infact produced in large factories under, one might say, laboratory condition. The bacteria used for making the holes we all know and love, and for giving it the slightly sweet taste, are cultivated in controlled conditions and added to the curd midway through the process. No farmers wive's in white aprons ringing out the cheesecloth here. (Do you ring out cheesecloth?) No, all is taken very seriously as it goes through many stages before producing the final 201b wheel. Can you imagine 20lbs of cheese. Suddenly I get an image I don't really want! So, enough of the facts - What's the cheese like? Well. One could say it has a nutty flavour, reminiscent of the walnut groves in the far reaches of Tuscanny. But that would mean nothing to anyone and makes no sense. I'm not even sure if they have walnut trees in Tuscanny. To look at, Jarlsberg is a yellow colour full of big holes with a yellow waxy rind. It basically looks like edam only all in yellow. Is it like Edam? No. It is certainly a lot less rubbery than edam, and I find Edam quite
                sickening after awhile. Jarlsberg I could eat for days without stopping. It's much more similar to Leerdammer, only nicer! It's quite a hard cheese, a tough little cookie to cut through with a blunting knife. Mmmm, cookies. It is incredibly versatile, a really good cheese to cook with. I often add a few slices on to normal cheese on toast just to give it a bit more of a bite. If you eat meat - here'sa good sandwich idea: 2 Rashers of Bacon (grilled) 4 Slices of Jarlsberg Cheese (or as many as you want!) 2 Slices of good ham. Slices of tomato Grill it until the cheese has melted! Lovely! And for the veggies: Use it to replace bacon in a BLT, simply grate the cheese, put a tiny amount of oil into a frying pan and sprinkle the cheese in forming into a bacon size. Within a minute it will begin to melt and go crispy. Once it is strong to lift without drooping in a melty kinda way - place it into your sandwich with the Lettuce, Tomato and Mayonnaise. I usually put 3 or 4 of these things into mine. It's fab. Other than my sandwiches above you can use Jarlsberg for anything to replace any other cheese. It melts, it fries, it grills and it's just so damn tasty. Price wise it's not the cheapest of cheeses. I pay around £2.20 for a pre-packed lump. It's about £7.50 per KG from somewhere like Tesco. Go on. Treat yourself. You won't regret it. Well you might if you don't like it. But you will. Unless you don't like cheese. In which case, pretend you didn't read any of the above and click on Very Useful below to exit> (tehe!)

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                  10.05.2001 18:40
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                  I have tasted many cheeses since I decided I liked cheese in my late teens. I was put off by: 1) a visit to a French cheese factory aged 11. Clothes pegs ahoy! 2) that's it really. In spite of coming from a family that didn't really eat any cheese at all, I now love the stuff, and will try any variety at all - apart from a smoked cheese I tried once which smelt and tasted like something that had died. Jarlsberg is an ideal cheese for those starting out from the usual Chedder, Lancashire, and Red Leicester available everywhere. Produced in Norway from pasturised cow's milk, Jarlsberg is mild in flavour, but with a sweet, nutty and buttery taste. The smell is also very mild, and there is nothing too strident about Jarlsberg. The cheese has middle sized holes through it, and is slightly rubbery in texture, with a buttery colour. I tend to eat it in sandwiches, or just on its own, cut straight from the wedge - it comes as a round cheese, and you will typically buy it in small wedge shapes. You can buy it from all major supermarkets - if it isn't on the deli counter try the pre-packed section, and you will usually find some either in the wedge form or pre-cut into slices. I would recommend buying a small wedge initailly, as the slices tend to dry out quickly once the pack has been opened, although they are ideal for the impromptu picnic of a french stick, some passata and a few slices of cheese - not forgetting the chilled small bottles of French lager.

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