This is the second installment of a series I'm doing, The Wonderfulosity of Cheese. And cheese is truly wonderfulocious! Last time we talked about Ottawa cheese. This time, we remain in the frigid tundras of the North. Yes, I am talking about Norway. And yes, I am talking about Jarlsberg cheese.
My usual rule of thumb is that if something is Low Fat, it is probably not all that tasty. This is simply a specific instance of the dictum that good-tasting things are usually bad for you. Actually, this is not always true, as we shall see below.
This cheese is imported by the same company that imported the "Ottawa" cheese from Canada. The wrapping, however, has no image on it. That's because while the company thought that Ottawa was an uninhabited wilderness, they are not even certain that Jarlsberg exists. I cannot blame them for that, since I myself am unconvinced that it exists.
But this cheese is not just Jarlsberg cheese. It is, in fact, Jarlsberg lite. Yes, it is the diet version of Jarlsberg. I didn't notice this when I had bought the cheese. (In fact, I bought it at the same time as I bought the Ottawa cheese.) Presumably they have made this cheese from lowfat milk, which in turn comes from lite cows. Lite cows are obviously cows engineered to contain pockets of helium in their bodies. They must be tied down, or they will float off. And I don't doubt that they reside in abundance among the fjords of Norway, some of them accidentally caught on cliffs after they chewed through their string...
... but I digress. Where was I? Yes, cheese. What kind of cheese,
you ask, really is this wondrous Jarlsberg? It is a clearly a
Swiss-type cheese, with many holes/bubbles. It is sold in long thin
wedges, almost rectangular. It has the taste of generic supermarket
Swiss cheese, but lighter and sweeter. (This is a compliment, by the
way: generic supermarket Swiss cheese around here is quite good, even
the bulk variety---it is the best of the generic cheeses.) It is the
best of th Actually, on crackers or by itself it tastes quite good,
even though it is Lite. It feels light, even though I have no
point of reference, having not eaten full-fat Jarlsberg. It is kind of
pleasantly spongy and soft.
So in other words, despite being low fat, it tastes quite good.
What to make of this? Well, this is probably an effect of it being cheese.
Even if you make it low-fat, it is still necessarily fatty! So it can
be Lite and still tasty, since it's only low fat relative to real
Jarlsberg! Which suggests to me that real Jarlsberg must taste really
It has one major flaw. It doesn't pass the melted-on-toast test. Alas. It melts onto the toast the way that processed cheese slices melt, with the unpleasant plasticky skin. It still tastes quite good, but the blocks of generic supermarket Swiss have a better texture. Oh, well. Can't have everything. Unlike the Ottawa cheese, which was a superior cheddar but insufficiently superior to justify the cost, the Jarlsberg is something I'd probably get a second time. So I'd have to give this cheese a guarded thumbs up.