Monterey Jack Cheese

You make me melt, Monterey Jack cheese

Monterey Jack is the cheese goddess of melting. With a high fat and moisture content, this semi-hard American cheese will melt on cue for baked pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, and any quesadilla it lays its eyes on. But the real power of Monterey Jack cheese? Its mild buttery flavor that always enhances and never overwhelms its fellow ingredients.

In Wisconsin, we pay homage to this cheese variety for its easy-going mildness, but we also like to spice it up with hot pepper, garlic, dill, wild morel, leek, lemon, and peppercorn varieties. If there's Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge, we're one happy group of cheese-worshipers.

Matching up your monterey jack cheese

In addition to all kinds of Mexican cuisine, the meltiness of Monterey Jack cheese makes it great for pastas, casseroles, omelets, cheese dips, cheese balls, and any grilled cheese recipe. We like to grate it into a Potato and Poblano Casserole or combine it with blue cheese, cheddar, and hot sauce for some Buffalo Mac & Cheese.

When drinking wine, mild Monterey Jack cheese likes lighter reds and crisp white wines – a sauvignon blanc, Riesling, sparkling wine, Beaujolais, merlot or pinot noir will all make jack cheese happy.

For beers, Monterey Jack cheese is always in the mood for a lager, pilsner, IPA or brown ale. Or a Kentucky bourbon, if you're sipping spirits.

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FAQs: what is monterey jack cheese?

What is monterey jack cheese?

Monterey Jack cheese is a semi-hard cow's milk cheese that originated in California. With a mild, buttery flavor and superior melting properties, Monterey Jack cheese is popular in Mexican dishes and grilled sandwiches. Monterey Jack variants include pepper jack cheese as well as cheeses studded with jalapeno chilis, mushrooms, garlic, dill, and other ingredients.

How was Monterey Jack cheese named?

Early versions of Monterey Jack cheese were made in the Monterey area by friars in the 18th century. A Monterey businessman named David Jacks was one of the first to widely sell the cheese in the 1880s, and the cheese eventually came to be called by his name.

Why Wisconsin claims this California cheese

California may claim the birth of Monterey Jack cheese, but Wisconsin is where this mild-mannered cheese has become a star. That's because in Wisconsin, giving cheese its big break is what we do.

Our cheesemakers have been making world-class cheese for 175 years, since even before we were a state. And all those generations of cheesemaking have certainly paid off – our cheesemakers have brought home more cheese awards (5,552 actually) than any other state or nation in the world. Nobody makes more cheese stars than Wisconsin.

So, next time you want Monterey Jack cheese to star in a quesadilla, casserole or grilled cheese recipe, make sure that jack has a Wisconsin pedigree.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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