Originating from Monterey in California, Jack, also called Monterey Jack, is a soft cow’s milk cheese. Its success led it to be produced in the states of New York, Illinois and Michigan, as well as in Canada. Jack is one of the first four American cheeses and was originally made by Franciscan monks at the beginning of the 19th Century, before an entrepreneur called David Jack, took up production of the cheese, giving it his name.
Monterey Jack is shaped into a wheel with a diameter of 24cm, weighing around 2.5 to 5kg. It has a creamy texture and a mild, tasty flavour. There are a many different varieties of Jack available. Some are matured for 6 months and are called ‘Dry Jack,’ are ideal as grated cheese, and other forms of Jack are sold fresh. There are varieties made with spices and chillies.