Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno
“our extra-special version of the basic Pepper Jack”
Jalapenos make this fresh, creamy cheese a customer favorite.
While our Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno may, at first blush, look like a simple “pepper jack,” this cheese is super versatile and pleases many palates. It has mild heat and a nice fresh creamy flavor. It is most often used in Mexican style recipes, and shreds and melts superbly. Grab a bag of tortilla chips, some salsa, a bar of Jumpin’ Jack, and you are ready to snack.
One of our favorite ways to use Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno is what we fondly refer to as “Pam’s Dip.” We enjoyed this famous dip, named after Aunt Pam, at our family gatherings over the years. Simply spread an eight ounce package of cream cheese on the bottom of a pie plate, a can of chili (Amy’s is my favorite), and shredded Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno. Top with green onions. Bake or microwave until hot and bubbly. It’s delicious!
This cheese is named after me and my love for horses. Did you notice the horse jumping over the corner of the label? Many years ago, I had a horse named Jack, so when it came time to name this cheese we decided the name fit perfectly- “jumpin’” for the nice little kick the jalapenos give. I refer to this as “my cheese.”
Jumpin’ Jack is one of the original five cheeses we began producing back in 2007, along with Italian Jack (now Garlic and Basil), Pepperoni Augusto, Chives and Dill, and Joy’s Tomato Basil. I have some very fond memories of making this alongside our children in the old cheese shop on the farm, the sharp smell of chopped jalapeno peppers stinging our noses as we added them by hand into the cheese.
- 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.
- Jalapeno peppers are medium-heat chili peppers. Chopped finely, the creamy mild Monterey Jack cheese counteracts the hot pepper, creating a pleasant mild heat and nice fresh flavor.
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.
It is at this point that we add the specific ingredients that give Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno it’s unique flavor. 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.
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 can (14.7 oz.) chili
- 2 Tbsp green onions
- 8 ounces of Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno (shredded)
- Tortilla chips
Spread softened cream cheese on the bottom of a pie plate. Top with chili and shredded Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno. Sprinkle green onions on top as a garnish. Microwave or bake until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.
Texas Beef Skillet
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ Tbsp chili powder
- ½ Tbsp garlic salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) black or kidney beans
- 3 Tbsp diced green chilis
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup quick cooking rice
- 3 cups grated Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno
- 12 flour tortillas
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion. Drain the fat. Add the seasonings and stir in the next five ingredients. Cover and simmer for twenty minutes as the flavors blend and the rice cooks. Top with three cups of shredded Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno. Remove from heat and cover until the cheese melts. Serve and roll up in flour tortillas. Add chips, salsa, and sour cream to make it a meal.
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.
Over the years this simple cheese has been flavored in many different versions, including our very own Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno.
Semi-soft Cheese Family
Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno is a flavored 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 with additions of green jalapeno peppers.
- Texture: Semi-soft, pliable, creamy and smooth. Bites of chopped jalapeno peppers throughout
- Flavor: Mild heat and a nice fresh creamy flavor.
- Typical Composition: 44% maximum moisture, 50% milk fat solids.
- Performance Characteristics and Applications: Excellent melting cheese.
- Storage/Shelf Life: Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeno 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.
- Texas beef Skillet
- Pam’s Dip
- Great in Mexican style recipes
- Use in any recipe calling for Pepper Jack
Key Benefits: Mild flavor overall. Easy melting. Good slicing and shredding. Convenient forms and flavors.
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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.