Chow Town

Dry Monterey Jack pairs well with pasta

Dry Monterey Jack Dry is rubbed in oil and cocoa, and each cheese has an irregular indention on one side where the cheesecloth is bundled as the cheese is pressed.
Dry Monterey Jack Dry is rubbed in oil and cocoa, and each cheese has an irregular indention on one side where the cheesecloth is bundled as the cheese is pressed.

October is American Cheese Month. The American Cheese Society says, “American Cheese Month is a celebration of North America’s delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.”

So I thought I would bring a different cheese to Chow Town readers every day in October. Stay tuned to see what delicious cheeses North America has to offer! There are sure to be some classic favorites and new must-haves that will suit everyone’s tastes.

Dry Monterey Jack

Producer: Vella Cheese Co.

Place: Sonoma, Calif.

Milk: Cow

Type: Hard

In 1983, when the owner of The Better Cheddar opened his first store on the Country Club Plaza, he knew he would always stock Dry Jack. To this day it is his favorite cheese.

Specifically the one to get is the Special Select Dry Monterey Jack. It is aged for at least a year, and the flavors are fully developed. Anything you do with Parmigiano-Reggiano you can do with Dry Jack.

That is not to say that they are the same. Dry Jack is its own cheese, with a little more tangy and milky flavors, but it also still possesses the nutty and sweet flavors of Parm. The texture is hard and crystalline, but I find it less grainy then Reggiano.

Dry Jack is rubbed in oil and cocoa, giving it a rustic, earthy look. Every cheese has an irregular indention on one side where the cheesecloth is bundled as the cheese is pressed.

Try Dry Jack grated on any pasta dish or as chunks with a little balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society certified cheese professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.

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