Honey Brook Jack
“Our Most mild and creamy of cheeses”
Taste the freshness in this delicious, mild Monterey Jack cheese!
What is Monterey Jack Cheese?
Honey Brook Jack is one of the five original Monterey Jack cheeses we began producing back in 2007. It’s creamy, melts perfectly, and can easily be consumed in large quantities. This cheese is super versatile and can be used in any recipe calling for Colby. In Lancaster, people love to eat pretzels and cheese together! Salty, crunchy pretzels combined with this amazing mild cheese is hard to beat.
When we first made this cheese we called it “Just Jack” because it was our plain Monterey Jack. We chose a light blue label and were quite satisfied with our new cheese.
It wasn’t long before we learned that people who shop for cheese are actually color sensitive. The pretty blue label didn’t make you think of cheese, but something “cold and clammy,” as Dave would say. The sales were slow, and we were learning a new business.
Back to the printers, we decided to come up with a new name and new color. A bright yellow label debuted, and a new name, “Honey Jack.” We added a touch of honey to the cheese and thought we had it just right.
As the story goes, customers were telling us they couldn’t taste the honey so eventually we omitted that ingredient and still another name emerged. We kept the yellow label and removed the small honey bee from the label design.
Let’s just call it Honey Brook Jack! That is the name that stuck, and now this cheese plays a super important role in almost every toasted cheese sandwich you eat at September Farm. Our famous three cheese blend is a combination of Three Year Cheddar, One Year Cheddar, and yes . . . Honey Brook Jack!
- The milk used to produce this September Farm Cheese comes directly from dairy cows you can see grazing in meadows around September Farm’s retail store and processing facility. Milk goes directly from the cows’ morning and evening milking to our cheese vat (there is no middle man).
- We do not separate our milk prior to making cheese. Whole milk is naturally 97% fat free.
- First developed by Louis Pasteur in 1864, pasteurization kills harmful organisms found in many natural foods such as raw fluid milk. Pasteurization is a process in which milk is treated for a specified period of time using heat.
We use non-iodized, semi coarse salt in our cheese. This salt dissolves into our cheese at the optimum rate, and serves four very important purposes:
- Encouraging moisture loss/ Altering texture: Salt will draw whey (moisture) out of the cheese. This dries the cheese’s body and has pronounced effects on its texture and stability.
- Neutralizing the acidity in the cheese.
- Enhancing flavor: Salt not only gives cheese a salty taste, but can also help enhance other flavors present.
- Acting as a natural preservative.
- This is a coagulating agent. Microbial Rennet is used to coagulate or thicken milk during the cheese-making process. This is done prior to cutting the curd, and allows the curds and whey to separate.
- There are many different types and variations of cheese culture. These cultures are referred to as Lactic Bacteria. The lactose fermenting bacteria, when added to milk, digests the lactose sugars to produce lactic acid causing the formation of curds.
Milk from a local dairy is first pasteurized before it is ready for cheesemaking. When the milk is at ninety degrees the first ingredient, cheese culture is added to the milk. Cheese culture, which activates the milk and turns the milk sugars into lactic acid, is also a key ingredient to identifying the cheese’s character after aging. The next ingredient added is rennet. This ingredient is an enzyme that causes the milk to coagulate, a very fascinating part of cheese making, as the cheese sets up like custard in approximately twenty minutes.
It is then time to cut the curd. This is done by placing curd knives into the vat. These curd knives are basically sets of wires that run horizontally and vertically and cut the entire vat from top to bottom into quarter inch cubes. These cubes are very soft and fragile at first but as they cook, they firm up and continue to release more whey. Cooking the curd is a very delicate process as we heat the vat with steam from ninety degrees to 102 degrees only allowing it to rise two degrees every five minutes. When the curd is completely cooked we will have 600 pounds of curds from 6000 pounds of milk. Approximately ten percent becomes cheese.
Monterey Jack cheese is a washed curd. Monterey Jack, Colby, and Longhorn are all examples of washed curd cheeses. After the whey is drained, we add water back to the vat and rinse the curd. The next step is to dry the curd. After the curd is sufficiently dried, we add salt to neutralize the acidity in the cheese. The salt also acts as a natural preservative. The whey that has been drained is eventually spread on neighboring farm fields as fertilizer. Whey is a byproduct of cheese making but when processed, can be found in other foods we eat as well as some animal feeds.
The hoops are lined with cheesecloth, and once filled are all ready to go into the press. When put under pressure, the curds knit together to form perfect blocks of cheese. More whey will be expelled from the blocks while under pressure. The next day the cheese will be removed from the press. It is then packed air tight and placed into aging. Our Monterey Jack cheese is a fresh cheese and ages for about one to two months before cutting into eight-ounce bars.
How to use monterey jack cheese
cheesy potato wedges
- 4 large potatoes
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tbsp onion flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp thyme
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp seasoned salt
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 cup Honey Brook Jack (shredded)
Cut potatoes into wedges; lay in a pan. Mix butter, onion flakes, salt, thyme, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic salt, and parsley. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, until soft. Sprinkle with shredded Honey Brook Jack and bake until melted.
monterey jack history
An American original, Monterey Jack was first invented and made in Monterey Bay, California by Spanish Franciscan missionaries during the late 1700s and early 1800s. In 1882, David Jacks, a dairy owner and businessman began marketing it throughout Monterey and eventually all throughout California. People soon began to refer to this semi-soft, white creamy cheese as “Jack’s Monterey” or Monterey Jack’s Cheese” eventually earning the name Monterey Jack.
Now that you know the history, scroll down just a tad bit more to find out how to use Monterey Jack Cheese.
Semi-soft Cheese Family
Honey Brook Jack is our own special rendition of Monterey Jack cheese. Monterey Jack is a semi-soft cheese. It shares this family with the following similar cheese types:
- Brick, dry- and washed-rind
- Pepper Jack
- Color: Creamy white.
- Texture: Semi-soft, pliable, creamy and smooth.
- Flavor: Delicate and buttery with a slight tartness.
- Typical Composition: 44% maximum moisture, 50% milk fat solids.
- Performance Characteristics and Applications: Does the Monterey Jack cheese melt? Yes, it’s an excellent melting cheese. Good for soups, sauces, toppings, casseroles, nachos, and pizzas. Also good slicing and shredding cheese for sandwiches and salads.
- Storage/Shelf Life: Honey Brook Jack can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months, unopened. Cut pieces should be wrapped tightly in barrier film and stored away from other pungent foods, as these cheeses will pick up flavors and aromas quickly. Proper sanitation when handling these cheeses will greatly increase their shelf life and quality. Freezing is not recommended.
- Curing/Aging: 1 to 3 months.
- Delicious paired with hard pretzels. Try these Lancaster County made hard pretzels, still rolled and twisted by hand.
- Honey Brook Jack is found in almost every toasted cheese sandwich you eat at September Farm. It is part of our famous three cheese blend– a combination of Three Year Cheddar, One Year Cheddar, and Honey Brook Jack.
- Use in any recipe calling for Colby.
- Child-friendly cheese
- Melts easily
Key Benefits: Mild flavor. Easy melting. Good slicing and shredding. Convenient forms and flavors.
We guarantee all products to arrive in satisfactory condition to the address given if delivery can be made when first attempted. Delivery services will not forward our packages and many of our gifts can’t stand reshipping. We cannot assume responsibility for perishable products if we are given an incorrect address.
Orders are shipped Monday through Friday. Consideration is given when shipping to warmer climates to ensure fastest shipping methods. We ship our products UPS or USPS.
Orders are processed and shipped Monday through Friday. When shipping to warmer climates, we avoid shipping over the weekend.
Time Most orders arrive between 3-6 business days, depending on processing time and destination. If you would like your order to arrive on a specific time frame, please make note of this in the comment section of your order.