No, Colby And Monterey Jack Cheese Are Not The Same Thing

Cheese is arguably one of the greatest food creations in history. There are many varieties of cheese out there, each with its own unique flavors, colors, and textures. Of all the different types of cheese to choose from, Colby Jack and Monterey Jack are often confused because of their similar characteristics. Although the two cheeses taste alike, Colby Jack cheese is actually a blend of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese.

Colby cheese can be confused with cheddar because of its flavor and yellow color, but Colby has an even more mellow taste and is semi-soft with a higher moisture content. These properties make it just as meltable as Monterey Jack, and as popular. Monterey Jack is often used as a base cheese because of its mild flavor. This white semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk doesn't just have excellent melting properties, it also pairs well with several types of wine and beer, as well as other cheeses. This makes it an exciting option to mix and match with, which is precisely how Colby Jack was invented. 

The difference between Monterey Jack and Colby Jack cheese

Colby cheese was created in 1885, and sometime after that, the curds of Monterey Jack and Colby were mixed together and pressed into a mold. The end result was a soft and springy cheese with a creamy flavor and a beautiful yellow and white marbling that is still popular today. It is only aged up to a few months in order to retain its signature flavor, unlike sharper cheeses which are aged longer. Both of the cheeses that make up the hybrid Colby Jack come from the United States, with Monterey Jack hailing from Monterey, California, and Colby cheese from Colby, Wisconsin.

Colby Jack cheese isn't the only hybrid cheese containing Monterey Jack; there are also several variations of this mild base cheese like Dry Jack, which is aged, and Pepper Jack, which is blended with spicy peppers. Colby Jack is often used for charcuterie boards, shredded cheese, or in any dish that calls for a meltable cheese with creamy texture. The white and orange marbling makes it aesthetically pleasing and it is a great cheese option to use on hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and nachos.