This Norwegian cheese icon has emerged in new wrapping here in Norway. It’s the rindless brick cut varieties that has come in a resealable bag. These days this does not represent a major invention as the technique is rather well established. But still, it makes the keeping easier.
But what caught my eye was some of the print on the plastic wrapping. Jarlsberg is an everyday cheese with a little more taste. World famous but still an everyday cheese.
The French distinguish between «fromage ailment» (food cheese) mainly purchased in the supermarkets with focus on snacking, practical to eat and suitable for cooking. Jarlsberg is a typical «fromage ailment». At least in this country. But an everyday cheese in one country might well be exotic in an other.
The other cheese trend is «fromage plaisir». The cheese we buy less frequently and often from a cheesemonger. This is for the special occasions being it a cheese party or week-end enjoyment. So I am not surprised if Jarlsberg is a cheese plaisir in for instance the USA. Same applies to Parmigiano Reggiano which is an everyday cheese in northern Italy and an exotic cheese in Norway. Suppose there are lots of other examples.
Raw milk Jarlsberg?
That is my wish. Here in Norway Jarlsberg comes in two styles. The brick style which is flow packed. Then we have the traditional with rind cut from wheels. They can also be aged. Better quality, but still pasteurized as all Jarlsberg cheese is. So my wish is that the cheese coming in wheels from a rather small dairy on the north west coast here in Norway, be made from raw milk. It could be a far fetched wish, but I do not understand what the challenges are. It is even aged for more that 60 days. Seems like the old school still rules the cooperative dairy that makes the Jarlsberg. Pasteurization, pasteurization, pasteurization. But one day?
Nay, rather a Norwegian brand. And a well known one. If you are in Norway the cheese is definitely made here, but you don’t have to travel all that far before it is made in Ireland. For the north American market a lot is made in Oregon, even though some is imported from Norway as well.
Even though I am a raw milk cheese aficionado, we always have some Jarlsberg in the house. After all we’re Norwegians.
Do you have Jarlsberg in your fridge, and if so, how do you use it?
I would recommend a Chardonnay without too much oak, or at least well integrated. Burgundy or Jura are my favorites.