Monterey Jack vs Cheddar Cheese: What Is the Difference?

Just like the fact that nearly everyone loves wine doesn’t mean many people actually understand it, the number of cheese lovers doesn’t mean many people know a lot about it. 

Arguably, there are even more of those who love cheese but don’t have any clue about it than with the wine. And that’s nothing to be ashamed about; you simply love the way it tastes, but why should you study it, correct? 

It just isn’t necessary, and that’s all the more true when you can find everything you need to know on the internet! One of the most important questions people try to find answers to this way is what makes each cheese differ from another.

So what is the difference between Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese? The most crucial difference between Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese is that the former has a slightly sharper taste and creamier texture.

Why is it this way, though? And is this everything that makes these two kinds of cheese differ? Of course, this is precisely the topic of this article, so without any further ado, let’s just get right into it!

Monterey Jack vs Cheddar CheesePin

What is the difference between Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese?

Monterey Jack is a Californian, semi-hard cheese. Its origins can be traced to the 18th century when a group of Spanish missionaries started to make it under the name “Queso blanco pais.”

Then, a businessman named David Jack decided to use this recipe and started to sell it in Monterey, California; thus, the name. This cheese, extremely popular especially in the USA, is notable because it usually ages only for one month, making it relatively soft.

On the other hand, Cheddar cheese is a considerably hard kind of cheese originating in the English village Cheddar. The aging time of cheddar, cheese beloved mainly by the residents of the United Kingdom, can get even as long as two years.

What is the difference in taste between Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese?

That is the main reason those two kinds of cheese taste differently – the difference in taste between Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese is that the former tastes mildly, with only a slight, buttery undertone.

On the contrary, Cheddar cheese has, primarily due to the longer aging time, a relatively rich and sharp taste. The longer time it ages also makes it more creamy.

Is Monterey Jack similar to Cheddar?

However, with that in mind, it is fair to mention that their taste doesn’t differ enormously – Monterey Jack’s flavor is, in fact, often compared to the one of Cheddar, only less creamy and milder.

Can I use Monterey Jack instead of Cheddar and vice versa?

And that means it is possible to use Monterey Jack instead of Cheddar and vice versa! That’s also possible because both of these kinds of cheese melt pretty nicely.

However, you should still remember that Cheddar isn’t the same as Monterey Jack. If you decide to replace the latter with the former, be prepared that your meal will have a creamier and more pronounced cheesy flavor.

Can you mix Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese?

Yes, you can mix Monterey Jack and Cheddar! By mixing it, you will Cheddar Jack, which is a well-known and beloved kind of cheese.

It is also widely agreed that Monterey Jack and Cheddar (many people also love adding gouda) make one of the best mac ’n’ cheese combinations.


Even though Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese are somehow similar kinds of cheese, there are still a lot of differences between them.

Firstly, Monterey Jack is an American type of cheese, while Cheddar is an English one. Secondly, the taste of Cheddar cheese is much creamier and richer than the one of Monterey Jack.

That means you should always try to use the one your recipe calls for. With that in mind, though, it is still definitely plausible to use one instead of the other.

That’s because they act pretty much the same regarding melting and therefore can be prepared in the same way. Just be ready that the final meal won’t taste as anticipated.



Image credits – Canva

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