Say Cheese: Jarlsberg



We here at Fiesta Farms love cheese, all kinds. In the past we’ve profiled Fifth Town CheeseOka and Devil’s Rock Creamy Blue, and today we’re giving some love to one of the great Norwegian cheeses-one that was not even available in North America until the nineteen sixties and has since become the most popular imported cheese in the United States.

Jarlsberg, as you might have guessed, was developed in the early nineteenth century in Norway, in the county named after the Norwegian nobleman Count Wedel Jarlsberg. Inspired by and modelled after the Swiss cheese Emmental, it enjoyed great success for a while, then gradually disappeared from the market. And it didn’t reappear until the mid nineteen-fifties, when a professor at the Norwegian College of Agriculture named Ole Martin Ystgaard decided to revive the recipe; one of his students wrote about it in an essay, and, intrigued, Ystgaard set about developing the recipe for today’s modern Jalrsberg based on the original, and employing the methods used by Swiss cheese makers. The recipe is now a closely guarded secret!

Jarlsberg is a great, versatile, all purpose cheese, noted for its numerous holes, or “eyes,” similar to those that characterize Swiss cheese, a result of gas produced by the bacteria during manufacturing. It is mild and nutty, smooth and buttery, and is used for cooking, in sandwiches, in omelettes and quiches, on burgers and in submarines….and it is great with fruit like green grapes, apples and pears. Jarlsberg has a distinctive yellow wax rind, and its pliable texture allows it to bend rather than break, making it perfect for eating in chunks or slicing thin.




If you are having ham this Easter, you will probably be knee-deep in sandwiches next week, and a ham and egg sandwich with Jarlsberg is about the simplest and most irresistible thing you can do with the leftovers. Or how about hot, delicious ham and jarlsberg croquettes? Or delicate corn muffins made with Jarlsberg and served hot with butter and a piquant pepper jelly or nut pesto? Now matter how you slice it, you’ll be saying cheese.





Ham and Jarls Croquettes

4 ounces Jarlsberg

3 tablespoons flour

1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups oil

10 ounces canned tomatoes

6 tablespoons bread crumbs

Salt and Pepper

Teaspoon of sugar

One clove of garlic

10 gelatin leaves

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

3 cups milk

4 ounces any style ham (cooked)

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

½ cup chopped parsley

2 eggs

1 teaspoon curry

Tomato Sauce

Cook tomato sauce and set aside, using fresh garlic and tomatoes. Simmer garlic and tomatoes for 20 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.


Grate the jarlsberg and dice up the ham. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.  Make a white sauce with butter and flour, cooking for about 3 minutes on low heat, and then slowly add in milk. Thicken, by cooking about 5 minutes.

Squeeze the soaked gelatin leaves and then add to the sauce. Stir until smooth. Add the ham, shallots and parsley.

Pour the entire mixture into a 1 inch high dish or pan and let sit to cool, about 30 minutes. Then, cut into about 40 slices.

Set up your assembly line of: eggs, flour and bread crumbs. Dip the pieces and then fry in the oil. If you would like an even crispier treat, dip again and refry.




 Delicate Corn and Jarlsberg Muffins

½ cup Jarlsberg Cheese

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/3 cups of cornmeal

3 teaspoons baking powder

Dash of salt

4 tablespoons softened butter

Nut Pesto

1 tablespoon

Chopped fresh parsley (1/4 cup)

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup chopped cashew nuts

Preheat oven to 425 F. Whisk together eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, mix flour, butter, baking powder and sugar. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Spoon into paper muffin cups. Cut the Jarlsberg cheese and press down into the center of the mixture in each muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve the muffins with the Nut Pesto.

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