Saturday, March 3, 2012

Product Review: Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese

Who doesn't love cheese? Although it does have some health benefits, namely protein, calcium and vitamin D, consuming too much can also be detrimental to your health. Cheese is high in saturated fat, containing around 5 grams per ounce. That's 1/3 of the recommended amount to consume in one day! This is why I often recommend reduced-fat cheese to my clients and also the reason I often it eat it myself. But a tasty, reduced-fat cheese can be hard to find. When you remove the fat from cheese, it can lose its flavor too.

I had the privilege of receiving a complimentary sample of Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese. This was a brand I'd never tried before...you know, sometimes it's hard to branch out when you're unsure of what you're going to get. But I have been quite pleased with this product!

I've used my sample of Jarlsberg in a variety of ways so far: to snack on by itself, with a French baguette and on a toasted roast beef sandwich. 

Now, I'm certainly not a cheese connoisseur, but I have tried many specialty cheeses in the past. My favorites are the more strongly flavored, like blue cheese, brie, goat cheese and an interesting purple marbled cheese I tried the other night! Swiss was one of my first favorite cheeses and I particularly like it with apples or on sandwiches.

The flavor of Jarlsberg Lite Swiss was mild and slightly nutty. It is a softer cheese, softer than many other Swiss cheeses I have eaten. That made it delightful to snack on! I haven't tried the full-fat version for comparison, but the flavor seemed well-intact. It still tasted like a gourmet cheese, even though it was reduced-fat. It did not get that platic-like or waxy texture that many lower-fat cheese have. Like other reduced-fat cheeses, the melting properties were lost; meaning that when you heat the cheese it doesn't really melt and ooze, it just gets warm and softer. I didn't really mind and this was pretty much to be expected.

The Jarlsberg Lite has 50% less fat and 30% fewer calories than the original. Instead of 5g saturated fat, the lite loaf only has 2g. There are also only 70 calories instead of 100 per ounce. I'd say this is quite a savings. The reduction in saturated fat means it's something that I can enjoy more often! Per ounce, you'll also get 20% of the daily value (DV) for calcium; another big perk.

It was easy for me to find Jarlsberg in the specialty cheese section at my grocery. Some stores may even carry the pre-packaged deli slices too.

When I'm looking to buy a good Swiss again, I'll definitely consider Jarlsberg. I'm already picturing it as a perfect addition to my fruit and cheese tray at my next party!

For more information about Jarlsberg, click here.