The Americans have always been adaptable people. So it’s understandable that when they began to make their own cheddar, they would adapt it to their own tastes.
First developed in 1874 in Colby Wisconsin, Colby looks like Cheddar with its orange yellow colour and semi hard texture, but is much softer and creamier, with higher moisture content.
Made from pasteurised cows’ milk, Colby does not undergo the ‘cheddaring’ process that melds the curds together, so the cheese is less tangy than most Cheddars. And unlike traditional Cheddars, it tends to become dry and cracked as it ages, rather than sharper in flavour. So Colby should always be eaten as young as possible.
While it pairs well with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz as part of a cheese platter, Colby is ideal in the kitchen. It gives a real kick to grilled sandwiches, hamburgers, fajitas and chilli and is perfect on rye with a little sliced apple or pear on the side.
Best bought in small quantities and eaten quickly, look for cheese with no hint of dryness or cracking and store it wrapped in waxy parchment and sealed in a plastic container in the fridge.