Jarlsberg Cheese: Origin, Flavor, Wine Pairing & Usage Tips


Wonderfully versatile and famed worldwide for its delicious creamy and nutty notes, Jarlsberg cheese is made to perfection with help from the richness and consistency of the milk produced by Norway’s dairy herds – resulting in excellent quality cheese and a distinct, smooth flavor.

Let us dive right in so you can find out everything you need to know about Jarlsberg cheese!

Overview and History of Jarlsberg Cheese

The story of the Jarlsberg cheese, as we have come to call it today, goes way back to the 1950s. It was in the small Norwegian village of Ås where a professor, Ole Martin Ystgaard, engineered a long-term research project at the Dairy Institute at the Agricultural University of Norway. 

Jarlsberg cheese is easily the most popular among Norwegian cheese brands, known for its versatility.

It is similar to Swiss cheese in its texture, consistency, and hole formation; however, the Jarlsberg is distinctly sweeter and offers a nuttier taste.

Is Jarlsberg Cheese Gluten-Free?

Yes! All Jarlsberg cheese varieties are naturally gluten-free and even lactose-free as well! Jarlsberg cheese is also known for being low-carb and keto-friendly.

However, please do note that the recipe for the production of Jarlsberg cheese calls for animal rennet. Hence this cheese may not be suitable for consumption by vegetarians.

As always, please check the ingredients on the label to be on the safe side. 

What are the Calories in Jarlsberg Cheese?

For every 100 grams of Jarlsberg cheese, there are approximately 351 calories. The calorie breakdown includes 69% fat and 0% carbs. 

Studies have actually shown that Jarlsberg cheese is actually really good for preventing bone thinning and keeping osteoporosis at bay.

When consumed in moderate amounts daily, Jarlsberg cheese is very good for bone growth and regeneration.

Can You Freeze Jarlsberg Cheese?

Yes! Unlike most cheeses, Jarlsberg cheese can actually be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. This is, provided, of course, that you store it carefully, properly, and securely with good quality materials. 

Here is a helpful and thorough video guide to show you the basics of freezing cheese –

When freezing, make sure to place the Jarlsberg cheese in the freezer before its shelf life elapses and before the date on the label says “Best by.”

How Long Does Jarlsberg Cheese Last?

If unopened, Jarlsberg cheese is good to stay in the refrigerator for up to two to three weeks. After being opened, Jarlsberg should not be kept for longer than 10 to 12 days.

Also be mindful of the “best by” or “use by” dates on the label. 

How to Store Jarlsberg Cheese?

Once you have opened it, you must be careful to store the cheese tightly and securely wrapped either in plastic wrap or cling film or sealed within an airtight container or airtight resealable bag.  

This also applies when you are trying to freeze Jarlsberg cheese. Make sure you use good quality, airtight resealable plastic baggies or airtight containers with lids that snap on tightly and securely. 

Can Pets Eat Jarlsberg Cheese?

Generally speaking, it is okay for dogs and pets to eat Jarlsberg cheese, it is always recommended to feed it to them in moderation. 

Jarlsberg cheese is still significantly high in fat content. Feeding too much of it to your pet may cause issues with weight gain and obesity, etc.

Please be cautious and considerate.

Best Substitutes for Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese has many excellent substitutes that, while similar in several features and properties, offer their unique attributes to the palate. Some of these substitutes include Gruyere cheese, cream cheese, Gouda cheese, and Comte

Here is a video plus recipe on how to work with Gruyere cheese as a substitute for Jarlsberg cheese:

Best Wine Pairing with Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese is among those with less acid, more elastic textures, and a little bite. It pairs perfectly with a Chardonnay. Other fantastic options for you to choose from include a Riesling, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Soave, or an Arneis. Enjoy!

Here is an excellent video guide you can watch to learn more on how to pair the savory-sweet Jarlsberg cheese with a tasty wine:

Best Recipes to Prepare with Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg cheese, as mentioned earlier, is an incredibly versatile cheese. From sandwiches to fondue to soufflé and dips, it works excellently for various recipes and dishes. 

Here is an excellent recipe guide on making the most scrumptious mac and cheese using Jarlsberg cheese.


Can I melt Jarlsberg cheese on different food items?

Absolutely! Jarlsberg cheese melts very nicely, so you can take full advantage of it by melting it on pies, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and quesadillas. The mild nuttiness of this cheese makes for a perfect companion to several herbs and spices. 

Is Jarlsberg cheese better than Swiss cheese?

Both have their unique, delicious properties. Jarlsberg cheese is a mix of Gouda and Swiss. Jarlsberg may have the general look and consistency of Emmental cheese; both filled with irregular holes. However, Jarlsberg cheese is slightly nuttier and even sweeter than its Swiss counterpart.

Is Jarlsberg cheese healthy?

While Jarlsberg cheese still has a significant fat content and calories, it is also known to be very rich in vitamin K2. This is really good for bone metabolism. So, having Jarlsberg cheese is moderated amounts can actually be very healthy for you. 

Summing Up

I hope this article gave you the information that you needed to know about this exquisite cheese – the Jarlsberg!

Do share this article with other cheese enthusiasts!

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.