Discover 5 Cheeses That Start With J

Charcuterie and cheese board.
© Anna_Shepulova/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Micky Moran

Published: January 31, 2024

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The world of fancy artisanal cheese is broad, with nearly 2,000 different cheeses in the world today, according to Cheese.com. Finding the right cheese to pair with your meal can seem overwhelming, especially when you don’t know the flavor or texture you get. If you want to try something new, pick a letter of the alphabet and follow where it leads. Here are a few cheeses that start with J to set you on the path to new flavor.

Cheeses That Start With J

Jalapeno Cheddar

fresh sliced jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese

The only way to test out perfectly blended jalapeno cheddar cheese is by melting it onto one of your favorite dishes.

©CaseyMartin/Shutterstock.com

Jalapeno cheddar cheese is the first cheese on the list, starting with J. Primarily produced by Rogue Creamery, this delicious and spicy blend comes from Oregon, producing a semi-hard artisanal cheese. Like many other cheddar cheeses, it has a creamy and crumbly texture when you bite into it. Due to the blending of jalapeno, the color is pale yellow rather than the vibrant yellow of mild or sharp cheddar cheese.

Using pasteurized cow’s milk, jalapeno cheddar cheese gives the kick that other cheeses develop through other processes. However, using a natural kick for this cheese sets it above any other. Rogue Creamery hand-dips all of their cheese, though this particular variation has to be aged in blocks. Using vegetarian-friendly rBST-free cow’s milk, this gluten-free cheese pairs well with burgers or chips.

Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg a mild creamy Norwegian cheese similar to Swiss Emmental with its characteristic holes

This Norwegian cheese is mild and creamy, featuring a waxed rind.

©David Pimborough/Shutterstock.com

One of the most famous artisanal cheeses that start with J is Jarlsberg cheese. At first glance, many consumers mistake it for Swiss cheese because of the holes. While it also comes from pasteurized cow’s milk, this cheese is much different. Sourced from Norway, Jarlsberg is a semi-soft cheese with a supple and smooth flavor. Many people find the flavor to be mild and buttery, with a nutty undertone with every bite.

Rather than being white like Swiss cheese, it is pale yellow, but it is part of the same type. The taste is slightly sweeter, complemented by the pungent smell. While it melts well while cooking, it is also a healthy and balanced snack. Still, anyone who wants this somewhat sweet cheese should pair it with a fondue or even a sandwich to experience the flavor. Plus, it comes in many shapes, including wheels, wedges, and slices.

Jibneh Arabieh

Jibneh Arabieh -  soft white cheese found all over the Middle East.popular in Egypt and the Arabian Gulf area.

Another name for Jibneh Arabieh is jibni.

©Fanfo/Shutterstock.com

In the Middle East, grab one of the most popular cheeses that starts with J-Jibneh Arabieh. Though it is the most popular in the Arabian Gulf region, it is also well known in Egypt. Though many people compare this soft white cheese to feta, the flavor is much less salty yet mild. Originally, Jibneh Arabieh used milk from a goat or sheep, but current practices use cow’s milk instead.

Most often, fans of Jibneh Arabieh use it in recipes. However, the flavor is so well-balanced that some people use it as a table cheese. The underlying taste of sweetness makes it the perfect cheese for knafeh and other pastries with cheese in them. Since today’s version of Jibneh Arabieh only includes cow’s milk, it is more delicate than it used to be. Still, consuming jibni with olives and vegetables brings out the natural flavors in the cheese. Some people even include it with their sunny-side-up eggs for breakfast in the morning.

Julianna

Julianna cheese only comes from the Capriole Goat Cheese company in Indiana.

©Geoffrey McKim / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

If you want to try out Julianna cheese, there is only one place to get it – Capriole Goat Cheese. Paired best with a good rosé, connoisseurs prefer to add this flavor to their summer dishes. Rather than using cow’s milk like other cheeses in this lineup, it uses pasteurized goat’s milk. The soft texture makes it a part of the brie family, offering a smooth and buttery texture. While the butter texture makes its way into the flavor as well, it has a tangy taste with a hint of mushrooms and herbs when you smell it. It is not a vegetarian cheese, but the flavors become even bolder with the herbs in the rind.

This cheese originally started as an experiment by Julianna Sedli, the intern from Hungary whom this cheese is named for. By aging it for 4-8 months, the cheese achieves a buttery and smooth texture. It has a balance of firmness against a strong nutty and buttery flavor. To create the rind, Juliana used herbs de Provence, safflower petals, and calendula petals.

Juustoleipa

Leipajuusto, Finnish squeaky cheese (bread cheese)  with cheese knife on a wooden board on white background

Like other cheeses here, Juustoleipa has many names, including Leipäjuusto or Finnish squeaky cheese.

©Olga Popova/Shutterstock.com

Juustoleipa is one of the only other cheeses on this list that isn’t exclusive to a particular brand. Instead, this type of cheese primarily comes from Finland, offering a semi-hard texture and up to 12% fat content. Rather than slicing or spreading easily like a soft cheese, juusto is firm, making it very chewy. It is white in color, balancing both salty and sweet as its overall flavor. Upon inhaling the scent, you’ll notice that it is fresh and sweet, making it much less smelly than other cheese.

Though some variations of Leipäjuusto come from pasteurized cow’s milk, that’s not the only animal milk used. Depending on where the cheese is made, it may also come from goat’s milk or reindeer milk. It is a cheese bread, though its squeakiness against the teeth gives it the name “Finnish squeaky cheese.” When made properly, the cheese comes from the fresh milk of a recently calved cow, toasting it to round out the flavor. The final product can have as much as 22% fat.

Cheeses That Start With J: A Summary

CheeseType of MilkColor
Jalapeno cheddarCow’s milkPale yellow
JarlsbergCow’s milkPale yellow
Jibneh ArabiehGoat’s milk, sheep’s milk, cow’s milkWhite
JuliannaGoat’s milkPale yellow
JuustoleipaGoat’s milk, reindeer milk, or cow’s milkWhite


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About the Author

Micky Moran is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering mammals, travel, marine life, and geography. He has been writing and researching animals and nature for over 5 years. A resident of Arizona, he enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures across the United States with his wife and kids by his side.

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