Colby cheese

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Colby Cheese.jpg
Other names Longhorn
Country of origin United States
Region, town Colby, Wisconsin
Source of milk Cows
Texture Semi-hard
Aging time None
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Colby is a cow's milk cheese.


Original factory southwest of the city of Colby
A marker in Colby, Wisconsin, notes the town's relationship to the cheese

In 1885, Joseph F. Steinwand developed a new type of cheese at his father's cheese factory near Colby, Wisconsin. The cheese was named after the village,[1] which had been founded three years earlier.[2] While Colby cheese is still widely available, it is no longer produced in Colby. A festival commemorating the cheese is held every year in mid-July where all local food booths offer free Colby cheese. On August 12, 2015, the original cheese factory was torn down leaving only the foundations of the building.[citation needed]

An 1898 issue of the Colby Phonograph noted that "A merchant in Phillips gives as one of the 13 reasons why people should trade with him, that he sells the genuine Steinwand Colby Cheese."[citation needed]


Colby is similar to Cheddar, but does not undergo the cheddaring process.[3] Considered a semi-hard cheese, Colby is softer, moister, and milder than cheddar because it is produced through a washed-curd process.[4] During this process, the whey is replaced with water during the cooking time, reducing the curd's acidity, and resulting in Colby's characteristically mild flavor. As with most other cheeses, it takes a little more than a U.S. gallon of milk to produce one pound (just over 8 liters for a kilogram) of cheese. Monterey Jack cheese is produced almost identically to Colby, but Colby is seasoned with annatto which gives it a sweet nutty flavor and its orange color.[3]

Longhorn is the best known style of the American Colby cheeses.[5] "Longhorn" refers to the long orange cylindrical shape of the cheese. Colby is available in both its original shape and in rectangles and half rounds.[6] Colby is not aged and dries out quickly.[5]


Because it is such a mild cheese, Colby is seldom used in cooking. It is typically used as a table cheese, for grating and grilling, and in snacks and salads.


Colby is sometimes mixed with Monterey Jack to produce a marbled cheese often called Colby-Jack or Co-Jack.

Pinconning cheese is a sharp aged relative of Colby cheese.

In 2015, artist John Riepenhoff and cheesemaker Bob Wills created a Double Cream Colby.[7]


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