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.
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.