As the cheese from Christmas starts to dry up and we return to choosing our favourite cheeses that get us by week to week, who can forget the classic Jarlsberg. Jarlsberg is produced by TINE and is “Norway’s largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products with 11,400 members (owners) and 9,000 cooperative farms.” One of their subsidiaries is Jarlsberg, a sweet & nutty mild cheese that has a golden hue.
How does it get its sweetness, well that is a closely guarded secret! As the video below explains.
As you can see in this informative & comical video it is and will always be protected but does it live up to the hype? Jarlsberg isn’t a cheese I normally turn to so having purchased a piece from my local Sainsbury’s it was time for the taste test. The initial bite is firm & rubbery with it taking a few moments in the mouth to warm and provide the sweet, nutty & milky flavour. Its very clean on the palate with a subtle flavour making it an easy eating cheese, for me I prefer the reserve Jarlsberg as it is slightly stronger and packs more flavour. I paid £2.65 for the piece which gets you 230g which is perfect for a 4-6 person family to enjoy as part of a board or to use for a meal. Meal solutions is really this cheeses party piece; its versatility. Yes you may prefer stronger cheeses or less branded but the simply staggering amount of uses takes some beating, just check out the recipes available here.
Holes, holes and more holes I here you exclaim! Well the real cause is again part of the secret recipe but using my knowledge I think when they are making curds & whey I’m pretty sure they add the ‘secret’ solution which causes a fermenting gassy reaction so when it is maturing the gas bubbles are kept for us to behold when cutting. Think of the cheese rind as an airlock and the gas bubbles have no way of escaping so they pop when the cheese matures leaving the imprint of itself behind. I think this cheese perfectly represents just how we use science to make our food.
Should you buy it? There isn’t any reason not to as it perfectly reflects what it sets out to deliver which is a sweet & nutty mild cheese. It is reasonably priced and can provide versatility so it certainly is a good cheesy companion to have in your fridge. It is available from supermarkets small & large as well as independents so if you have been giving this cheese the slip it maybe time to give it a try.