An American cheese, Monterey Jack is pasteurised cow’s cheese that originated from Monterey in California. With a pale yellow colour, the Monterey Jack has a very buttery yet mild flavour. It is a semi hard cheese which makes it perfect for both gratings (and adding to pizzas) and dicing (for preparing fondue). It works great on a charcuterie board as well as on burgers and grilled sandwiches. 

 

This cheese was originally prepared by monasteries in the Monterey region in California. Around the 1700s, an entrepreneur David Jack saw the commercial value of homemade All American cheese. He started selling this cheese across the country and over time it came to be known as Monterey Jack or Jack’s Monterey.  

Monterey Jack and all of its varieties find a lot of utility in Mexican and Spanish culture as a great melting cheese. The rind on Monterey Jack is also natural so it is edible. You can enjoy Monterey Jack with a glass of aged red wine like pinot noir.  


Varieties of Monterey Jack 


Though semi hard cheese is only six to twelve months old, there is an extra aged variety called Dry Jack. A spicy and pepper flavoured Monterey Jack called Pepper Jack is also a beloved type. If you need a substitute for Monterey Jack, purchase Colby and Cheddar cheese in its place.  


How to store Monterey Jack? 


Cheese can be tricky to store; if stored incorrectly an expensive cheese can be ruined before its expiry. Wrap the cheese in paper in place of plastic.  

Plastic wrap can kill the bacteria the lives on top of the cheese. Also, ensure to not wrap the paper very tightly. Keep Monterey Jack in vegetable or crisper drawer to maintain freshness. If you detect mould, cut off the mould on the cheese and re-store.