Jarlsberg – The Holey Cheese

jarlsberg 1The Norwegian cheese Jarlsberg is the third largest Norwegian export product and found in many markets around the world used as a ingredient in many recipes.  It is well appreciated by leading chefs for its distinctive sweet and nutty taste – and not to mention the holes! Jarlsberg is available in rinded and rindless varieties and is ideal for cheese boards and as a topping for salads and hot dishes.


In 1956 a research team from the Agricultural University of Norway started experimenting with old cheese recipes from the Laurvig and Jarlsberg counties in the South of Norway. They developed a semi hard, medium-fat cheese with holes, successfully combining old cheese-making traditions with modern technologies. The team named the new cheese Jarlsberg after the county it came from. A new cheese category was born.

The export of Jarlsberg started cautiously in 1961. Today, the Jarlsberg global sales has exceeded more than 25,000 tons. The largest producer of Jarlsberg is the Tine factory in Elnesvågen near Molde in western Norway. Today, the various varieties of the cheese account for well over eighty percent of Tine’s export, with Jarlsberg being the number one selling brand in its segment of imported cheese in the United States and Canada.

Jarlsberg is produced in the U.S. on license at Alpine Cheese in Ohio, and by Dairygold in Ireland. In the United States, it is sold in about 30,000 supermarkets.

jarlsberg gloreteFun Facts

-Jarlsberg was mentioned by name in the movie Trial and Error (1997) where Charlize Theron offers Jeff Daniels a sandwich and says: «But… it’s Jarlsberg!»

-Jarlsberg was also mentioned in the movies The Devil Wears Prada, The Wrestler and Did you hear about the Morgans.

-In the TV series Frasier, Jarlsberg was mentioned at the end of episode 24, Season 2.

-Jarlsberg was also mentioned in Monty Python’s “cheese skit”.

-Steven van Zandt is mentioning Jarlsberg in the television drama The Sopranos in episode 10, Season 3.


Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Sources: Wikipedia, Tine

Photos: Tine

Categories: Culinary Surprises, Traditional Food

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