BobB forgot about an unopened package of Monterey Jack cheese in his fridge for a few months. He was going to throw it away but noted there was no visible mold, and like a true hound, decided to try it. “What a revelation!” he says. “The biggest difference is in the texture—it has ripened into a semi-soft cheese, at room temperature actually spreadable. And the flavor has deepened, not in an ‘off’ way, but somehow richer and more savory than any Jack I’ve ever tasted. The only thing I can compare it to is a really soft Bom Petisco.”

Melanie Wong has had soft-textured aged Jack made from raw milk and aged over 60 days. “This cheese had developed a richness and nutty nuances with a semi-soft texture that reminded me of Alpine cheeses,” she says. “The cheesemonger who sold it to me said he had suggested that the name be changed to something else, as this cheese has little connection to what we think of as Jack cheese.”

Discuss: Aged Monterey Jack – who knew?

See more articles