Norwegians did not invent the cheese of course! But there are specific cheese varieties that have been developed and that are only made in Norway.
One of these cheeses is Jarlsberg, made from pasteurized cow's milk, a so-called "swiss cheese" because it is related to the Emmenthaler and Swiss cheeses, It has a sweet and nutty taste, noticeably sweeter than its "cousins", and have large round holes. Because of its texture, it is a cheese that is easy to combine with other ingredients. (See the recipe section).
This cheese variety was invented and developed in Jarlsberg County in the mid 18th century. In the 1960s a professor at Norges landbrukshøgskole rediscovered the old recipe, and the modern Jarlsberg was born.
Jarlsberg cheese is very popular at home as well as abroad. Worldwide, approximately 23 000 tons of Jarlsberg are consumed each year! In the US it is now the number one selling brand of imported cheeses. It arrived in American delicatessen back in 1965. One reason Jarsberg has won over traditional swiss cheese is its size: Jarlsberg cheese could easily be carried into the shop and put onto a shelf whereas other types would need to be rolled in or a machine to lift them. In order to satisfy the demand for Jarlsberg in the North American market, Jarlsberg is produced on license at Alpine Cheese in Ohio. The special Jarlsberg bacterial culture is sent to Ohio from Norway and the cheese produced has the same high quality as the cheese produced in Norway.
The producer of Jarlsberg is TINE, Norway's largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products. TINE is the sales and marketing organisation for Norway's dairy cooperative and is responsible for product development, quality assurance, production and distribution planning, marketing and the export of TINE products. Jarlsberg cheese accounts for 60% of TINE's total exports.
The name "tine" (pronounced teeneh) is a traditional Norwegian wooden container to keep butter and cheese fresh, always beautifully decorated - traditionally with rosepainting and sometimes nowadays also with more modern designs.
Countries Jarlsberg is being exported to: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA.
Recipe section: Jarlsberg
The cheese slicer