Colby cheese

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Colby Cheese.jpg
Other namesLonghorn, Colby Cheddar
Country of originUnited States
Region, townColby, Wisconsin
Source of milkCows
Aging timeNone
Named afterColby
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Colby, originally Colby Cheddar, is a semi-hard cow's milk cheese originating from the United States.


Original factory southwest of the city of Colby (2012)
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.

An 1898 issue of the Colby Phonograph noted, "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]

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]


Colby cheese is similar to cheddar cheese 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] 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 more than one U.S. gallon of milk to produce a single pound of cheese (over eight liters of milk per kilogram of cheese).

Monterey Jack cheese is produced almost identically to Colby, but Colby is seasoned with annatto, which imparts a sweet nutty flavor and an orange color.[3]

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


Because it is such a mildly flavored 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 called Colby-Jack or Co-Jack.[7] Pinconning cheese is a sharp aged relative of Colby.

In 2015, artist John Riepenhoff and cheesemaker Bob Wills created a "Double Cream" Colby.[8]


  1. ^ "Dairy Good: Home". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  2. ^ History: The Home of Colby Cheese Archived 2007-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Frank Kosikowski; Vikram V Mistry. Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods. 3rd ed, Westport, Conn.: Author, 1997.
  4. ^ Colby cheese at Wisconsin FFA
  5. ^ a b Colby cheese at Archived 2007-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Ehler, James T. "Longhorn Cheese : Food Facts & Trivia". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  7. ^ Wisconsin Cheese: Colby-Monterey Jack Archived 2018-05-26 at the Wayback Machine. Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
  8. ^ "Twelfth Annual Nohl Fellowship Exhibition Opens at INOVA, October 9". Retrieved 2 February 2017.

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