Colby Cheese

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  • TextureSemi-hard
  • FlavorMild/tangy
  • PairingsRed WineWhite WineBeer

What is Colby cheese? A Wisconsin original

Colby cheese is a semi-hard cheese named after the small town in north-central Wisconsin where it was developed in 1874. Ironically, while Colby is widely available throughout Wisconsin, it is no longer produced in Colby. The best-known style of Colby is Longhorn; Colby Longhorn cheese is named for the long, cylindrical shape in which it is molded. Although it is considered a semi-hard cheese, it is softer and moister than Cheddar, with a milder flavor because it is produced through a washed-curd process.

How is Colby cheese made?

Colby is similar to Cheddar but does not undergo the “Cheddaring” process. Reducing the acidity of the curd by replacing the surrounding whey with water results in a softer, moister, milder cheese with a firm, open texture and tiny holes. Colby is made almost identically to Monterey Jack, except that—like most Cheddars—Colby is naturally colored with annatto. In fact, Colby is often mixed with Monterey Jack to create a yellow-and-white marbled cheese (marble jack or Co-jack) that's used for shredding or snacking.


Slice for sandwiches; shred into casseroles; cube for snacks.


Wine: Cabernet sauvignon, Champagne, Chianti, malbec, merlot, pinot noir, riesling, zinfandel
Beer: American lager, brown ale, pale ale, Pilsner, sour ale, wheat ale

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