What is Jarlsberg® Cheese?

Jarlsberg® is a hard, mild-tasting, pale yellow-Norwegian cheese with large holes in it.

Jarlsberg® myfavouritepastime.com

Origin: Norway

Jarlsberg® was first produced in the 1860s in Jarlsberg and Vestfold county, Norway. It was later revived in the mid-1900s. (World Cheese Book). Jarlsberg® is famous the world over, for its distinctive sweet and nutty taste and its large, round holes. It resembles a Swiss Emmentaler.


It’s produced from the rich milk produced from cows grazing in high summer pastures, (World Cheese Book), in 10kg wheels, but is mostly sold in wedges of various sizes, depending on the retailer.

The cheese curds are cultured with propionibacteria, which breakdown the lactic acid into propionic and acetic acids, and give off carbon dioxide gas. The gas creates bubbles (holes) in the soft and elastic curd. The holes expand, as the cheese ripens.The size of the holes is a good indication of a cheese’s maturity. (The Guardian).

The cheese

Jarlsberg® myfavouritepastime.com

  • Has large round holes and a smooth lemony-yellow colour.
  • The texture is semi-soft with a semi-firm interior.
  • The flavour is mild and buttery, with a sweet and nutty flavour and a fermenting fruit tang to the finish. It has a softer and milder flavour than Swiss Emmentaler.
  • It’s Norway’s most famous edible export.

How to Enjoy Jarlsberg® Cheese

Jarlsberg® myfavouritepastime.com

  • Jarlsberg® is an all-purpose cheese for cooking and snacking.
  • It melts beautifully, so try it melted on toast or for fondues, quiches, and savoury pies.
  • Try it sliced in salads or as a party snack or as an anytime snack
  • Also great in sandwiches with smoked ham, or served with crudités.
  • Makes a great addition to your cheese board


  • Per 30g (1oz): about 110 calories; 8g fat and 140mg sodium.
  • Price: About $25/kg or $12.00/Ib in my local store here in Canada.

Pairing with Wine

  • Choose light, fresh white wines rather than reds.
  • Dry or semi-dry whites made from Chardonnay or Riesling grapes are great. Think Chablis, White Burgundy, or a light, spicy Gewürztraminer.
  • Jarlsberg Cheese combines pleasantly with most beers.


  • Origin: Norway
  • Milk: Cow’s Milk
  • Age: 1-15 months
  • Classification: Semi-soft
  • Texture and colour: Semi-soft, lemon yellow
  • Flavour: mild, buttery and nutty
  • Fat content:
  • Moisture content:
  • Weight and shape: 10Kg (20Ib) wheels of diameter 33cm (13” x 95-105cm (37-41”) high.
  • Size: sold in wedges of various sizes
  • Rind: distinctive, yellow wax rind, or rindless in Jarlsberg Lite
  • Producer: Tine SA. Norway, is the largest producer. Also made in Ohio by Norwegian subsidiary, Norseland Inc.

Jarlsberg® Lite

  • This is the low-fat variety of the regular Jarlsberg® .
  • Great for weight watchers’
  • A pliable and easy to slice cheese that’s great for sandwiches and light lunches.
  • Jarlsberg® Lite is only available without rind, and due to the lower fat content it is less suitable for cooking than the Jarlsberg® original, but that’s no reason not to give it a try. (Jarlsberg website)

Jarlsberg® Special Reserve

  • This exclusive variety of Jarlsberg® is ripened for a minimum of 12 months. The ageing process retains the characteristic flavours and aromas, but intensifies them to produce a stronger, more robust cheese. (Jarlsberg Website)
  • Great for snacking or for cheese platters or as a finger food for buffets.
  • As a cooking ingredient, it exhibits a stronger flavour to give your dish some real zing.

Jarlsberg® Smoked

  • Like most traditional smoked foods it has a darker, browner surface and a piquant, smoky taste. It makes an excellent sandwich filling and is the perfect addition to many hot and cold dishes.(Jarlsberg Website).
  • Jarlsberg® Smoked is an irresistible addition to the cheese board.
  • Last Updated: August, 26 2018

Jarlsberg® myfavouritepastime.com

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

26 thoughts

  1. Fantastic review! Easy to read and well written. I really enjoy this cheese and if I didn’t know about it, your post would make me want to taste it! Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day!

    1. I love Jarlsberg too. We get a few wheels here and there in some of our supermarkets here. Not cheap though. Have a wonderful week!

        1. Their most famous is the Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce. I haven’t been to IKEA of late. I love eating there, somehow, I don’t know why. Have a great weekend!

        2. I truly love eating their simple meals. And my kids too. They always look forward to going to IKEA. Enjoy the weekend!

  2. Hey Liz…interesting post on the cheese! I do enjoy it now and again! Must catch up with your other posts. Been down to Orlando to Universal Studios and just home so will check in with you soon. Happy spring……please warm up!

    1. I haven’t been up to date with my messages. Yes it’s quite warm today. My French doors are open and I’m sniffing fresh air. I love it. Take care Sandy!

      1. Spring is still trying to evade us out here! Nice one day, rains the next week! Oh well, can’t control the weather! I understand Liz, sometimes life gets in the way! Or just happens! Enjoy your lovely weather.

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