|Country of origin||United States|
|Region, town||Colby, Wisconsin|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
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, which had been founded three years earlier. 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.
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."
Colby is similar to Cheddar, but does not undergo the cheddaring process. Considered a semi-hard cheese, Colby is softer, moister, and milder than cheddar because it is produced through a washed-curd process. 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.
Longhorn is the best known style of the American Colby cheeses. "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. Colby is not aged and dries out quickly.
Pinconning cheese is a sharp aged relative of Colby cheese.
In 2015, artist John Riepenhoff and cheesemaker Bob Wills created a Double Cream Colby.
- Colby cheese at www.ilovecheese.com
- History: The Home of Colby Cheese
- Frank Kosikowski; Vikram V Mistry. Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods. 3rd ed, Westport, Conn.: Author, 1997.
- Colby cheese at Wisconsin FFA
- Colby cheese at truestarhealth.com
- Longhorn cheese food facts at foodreference.com
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