Original to Wisconsin, cheesemakers first produced colby, a close relative of cheddar, in the central Wisconsin town of Colby in 1885. Similar in flavor to cheddar, colby is softer and has a firm, open lacey texture with tiny holes and a higher moisture content. Its mild flavor similar to young cheddar. Cheesemakers spray the curds with cold water and stir them while they are still in the vat to prevent the curds from knitting together. This procedure gives colby a more elastic texture than cheddar.


Golden, sometimes marbled (combination of Colby and Monterey jack or white cheddar)


Firm, but softer and more elastic than cheddar. Open texture with tiny holes.


Mild, cheddar-like

Serving Suggestions

For flavorful biscuits, add shredded Colby to the dough. An excellent slicing cheese, Colby is a wonderful complement to roast beef, ham or turkey sandwiches. Add cubes of Colby to macaroni salad or use to top a bowl of hot chili.

Goes Well With

Apples, pears, onions, tomatoes Red wines, such as Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon; lager or pilsner beers


Wisconsin Colby is available plain, flavored with cajun spice, caraway, hot pepper and garlic, or marbled with Monterey jack or white cheddar. Cheesemakers also make Kosher, low sodium, reduced-fat, raw milk and organic Colby in Wisconsin. 40-pound block, 13-pound cylinder, random and exact weight

Performance Note

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.

  Cold Surface Broil Oven (in recipe) Oven (surface) Direct Heat (in suspension)