If cheeses were superheroes, Monterey Jack would be the mild-mannered SuperMelter. The high fat and moisture content in this California-born, semi-hard cheese helps it melt more smoothly than an ice cream cone in Death Valley, yet its mild flavor won't get in the way of other ingredients. It's no wonder that every grilled cheese master and quesadilla chef in America wants to get their hands on this mild and creamy white cheese.
In Wisconsin, we like a mild Monterey Jack as much as the next cheese fanatic. But we also make Monterey Jack with dill, garlic, hot pepper, pesto, wild moral, leek, lemon, and peppercorn, just for starters. Because, pushing boundaries and taking cheese to new heights of flavor – well, that's our superpower.
Monterey jack's excellent melting properties make it a natural for Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines, as well as soups, pasta casseroles, cheesy dips, and, of course, mac and cheese. We like this mild-flavored cheese for a quick and simple cheese and crackers snack in the afternoon or melted over baked chicken with barbecue sauce. And the jalapeno and garlic Monterey Jack versions can help really spice up a cheeseboard.
With wine, Monterey Jack likes to keep it light and breezy – a sauvignon blanc, Riesling, chardonnay or sparkling wine are all just fine, or a Beaujolais, merlot or pinot noir if you're drinking red.
For beer, try lighter fare – a lager, pilsner, IPA or brown ale. For something heavier, Monterey Jack would never turn down a Kentucky bourbon.
Monterey Jack cheese is an American semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk. It has a mild, buttery flavor and a pale-yellow color with a compact and supple texture. With a high fat and moisture content, Monterey Jack has excellent melting properties and is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. There are many flavor variants of Monterey Jack, of which pepper Jack cheese is likely the most popular. Aged or dry jack is aged 6 to 9 months and resembles an aged cheddar with a rich, sharp, and nutty flavor.
Here's an interesting cheese fact: a form of Monterey Jack cheese was first made by 18th-century friars in Monterey, but it's named after David Jacks, a businessman who was one of the first to widely sell and distribute the cheese in the late 1800s.
Monterey Jack is made from whole, partly skimmed or skimmed cow's milk and is aged for two weeks to a month.
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Monterey Jack might have got its start in California, but it really struck gold in Wisconsin. That's because our Wisconsin cheesemakers have been honing their cheese chops for more than 175 years, before Wisconsin or California were even states.
Our entire state not only dreams in cheese but is also dedicated to doing one thing really well – making the tastiest, most award-winning, highest-quality cheese in the universe. You want proof? Just take a look at the 5,552 cheesemaking awards on the bookcase in the den.
So, next time you want the very best Monterey Jack you can find, forget California – it's the fertile dairy lands of Wisconsin that are leading the way.
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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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.