CHICAGO — In the search for the next popular iteration of the cheeseburger, George Duran, American chef, entertainer and cookbook author, partnered with Norseland Inc., Darien, Conn., to develop recipes featuring the company’s Jarlsberg cheese.
Jarlsberg was created in 1956 in Norway and remains a carefully guarded Norwegian recipe. The semi-soft natural cheese with resemblance to traditional Swiss cheese, has a mild, nutty taste. The only producer of Jarlsberg cheese is Tine S.A., which is the largest Norwegian dairy product cooperative. Norseland is Tine’s U.S. subsidiary.
Mr. Duran created four concepts for the campaign. Each of the four burgers have its own story and film.
The Viva La Quinoa burger is a vegetarian burger based on quinoa, red lentils and spinach. Mr. Duran shows that plant-based foods are not necessarily vegan, and in fact, dairy products such as cheese are essential to keeping the plant-based food moist. He shows how adding a slice of Jarlsberg to a vegetarian patty livens it up.
Need to avoid gluten? Mr. Duran created the Melted Maui Madness. It features grilled pineapple slices that function as the bun to hold the teriyaki-infused beef cheeseburger.
The Marvelous Meltdown Fondue Burger is all about indulging on simplicity. The sandwich is a beef panko breadcrumb patty topped with a cheese sauce made from four simple ingredients: Jarlsberg cheese, butter, whole milk and flour.
Lastly, the Brooklyn Bacon Bonanza burger, which is a beef, pork and bacon patty, requires some prep work, as the Jarlsberg must be frozen to create this oozing cheesy burger. The raw meat matrix is made into a ball that surrounds a frozen cheese center and then flattened into a patty ready for grilling. Cooked burgers get topped with chipotle mayo, sliced tomato and a fried egg.
The new global promotion is the first large international campaign Jarlsberg has launched in several years and one of the biggest campaigns the brand has ever done across all of its markets. The aim is to create momentum for the Jarlsberg burger and show the versatility of the Norwegian cheese.
The campaign consists of films and photos for social media and print materials for in-store use, including a burger shaped brochure with the Mr. Duran’s recipes. The campaign goes live in July and runs through the end of August. The main markets are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Taking cheese in a different direction
Mr. Duran is also getting creative with Folios Cheese Wraps from Lotito Foods, Edison, N.J., a business partner of Norseland. At the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, to be held June 30 to July 2, he will show culinary professionals how the par-baked sheets of cheese made from cheddar, Jarlsberg or Parmesan may be molded into a topper, shell or wrap and used in numerous recipes. The patent-pending lightly baked (1.5 oz) sheets come four to a pack and are separated by parchment paper. Lactose- and gluten-free Folios Cheese Wraps provide 13 grams of protein per serving and a mere 1 gram of carbohydrates.
Also at the Fancy Food show, Lotito Foods is debuting a collection of regional Italian street foods for the food service industry. The new line includes Naples-inspired mini-calzoncelli, which are pockets of dough stuffed with a variety of Italian fillings. Battered and stuffed zucchini flowers are a Roman delicacy. They are made with fresh, tender zucchini flowers filled with mozzarella and ready to heat and serve. There are also croquettes in several flavors, including risotto, tomato and mozzarella; potato, garlic and mozzarella; and eggplant Parmesan and mozzarella.
The regional street food line includes several Sicilian favorites. There is breaded mini eggplant and mozzarella bites and arancini. The latter are breaded rice balls in various sizes, with or without a center filling.