Wisconsin colby originated in Wisconsin and continues to be among the fastest-growing cheese varieties on menus across the U.S. It melts wonderfully on a grilled cheese, which is why we decided it was the perfect variety to give away as we continue to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month!
Visit our Instagram feed and follow us @WisconsinCheeseTalk to enter to win a five-pound wheel of Wisconsin colby cheese for extra cheesy grilled cheese sandwiches.
And now… 10 interesting facts you may not have known about Wisconsin’s signature colby cheese.
It’s 100% Wisconsin
- Colby is a Wisconsin Original cheese, first crafted in the central Wisconsin town of Colby back in 1885 by Joseph F. Steinwand.
It’s in the cheddar family
- Colby is like a cousin to cheddar – golden in color, but often marbled with Monterey Jack or white cheddar.
It’s ready to mingle
- Colby has a mild flavor and pairs great with apples, pears, onions, tomatoes, beef, turkey, chicken, red wines, and lager or pilsner beers.
It’s popular with Wisconsin cheese producers
- Wisconsin is home to 38 manufacturers of colby cheese and has 12 Master Cheesemakers of colby.
It’s a rising star
- Colby is among the fastest-growing cheese varieties included on sandwiches and burgers in U.S. restaurants.
It has bragging rights
- Wisconsin cheesemakers have won numerous awards for colby.
It’s a team player
- Colby plays wells with others and is often packaged in shreds, complementing one or more other cheese varieties.
It’s a diverse cheese variety
- Wisconsin crafts about 40 different types and styles of colby, including cranberry, dill, garlic & onion, jalapeño, olive & chive, taco, smoked and more.
It’s a household item
- Colby is put into an “Other American” cheese category that also includes Monterey Jack and washed or stirred curd. The average American eats close to four pounds of “Other American” cheese per year. This category accounts for 11 percent of our total annual cheese consumption, ranking third behind mozzarella and cheddar.
It’s sold in “Longhorn” form
- The term “Longhorn” refers to the 13-pound cylinder of colby, the most common style of production. Cheesemakers also form cheddar in this style. Longhorns may be cut in half moons or sticks.