The History of Monterey Jack Cheese

Published on May 1, 2023

Mexican cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its vibrant flavours, unique spices, and diverse ingredients. One particular ingredient that has seamlessly integrated itself into Mexican food culture is Monterey Jack cheese. With its mild taste and creamy texture, Monterey Jack has become an essential in a variety of Mexican dishes. Today, we’re taking a look at the history of this popular cheese and how it integrated into Mexican cuisine.

A Historical Crossroads during the Spanish Colonization of the Americas
As Spanish settlers established missions and haciendas in California, they brought with them their cheese-making traditions. Monterey Jack cheese, originally crafted by Franciscan friars, was one of the cheeses produced during this time, combining Spanish techniques with local ingredients. The fusion of Spanish and Mexican influences resulted in a cheese that perfectly complemented the vibrant and bold flavours of Mexican dishes.

Versatility in Mexican Cooking
Monterey Jack cheese’s mild and buttery flavour profile makes it an excellent choice for a variety of Mexican dishes. It is commonly used in classics such as enchiladas, quesadillas, and chiles rellenos, where it adds a creamy and melty element. The cheese’s ability to melt evenly without overpowering other ingredients has made it a staple in Mexican cuisine, adding a delightful richness to everything from tacos to tamales.

The history of Monterey Jack cheese in relation to Mexican cuisine is a testament to the ongoing exchange and fusion of culinary traditions. As Mexican dishes gained popularity and evolved, Monterey Jack cheese found its place as an essential ingredient, enhancing flavours and providing a creamy texture. 

At Quesada, we blend the creaminess of Jack and the sharp flavour of cheddar to provide a delicious combination to our Burritos, Quesadillas and Nachos. As an alternative to our Jack and cheddar blend, we offer delicious Queso sauce as well.

The next time you pay us a visit, be sure to add this tasty cheese to your meal!