Colby cheese, originally called Colby Swiss cheddar, is a semi-hard American cheese prepared from cow's milk. It is compared with cheddar cheese since both are dyed to appear orange, even though they taste radically different. Due to the US dairy regulations, Colby cheese is made from cow's milk and is available at grocery stores all over the US.
The cheese was developed in 1874 by Joseph Steinwand at his cheese factory near Colby, Wisconsin. Though Colby cheese looks similar to cheddar due to its colour, Colby cheese is softer, milder, creamy and has a more open texture. It does not undergo the 'cheddaring' process but is manufactured with a washed curd process that reduces the acid content. An aged Colby becomes cracked and dry, so it is advisable to eat when young.
Colby's gentle flavour and texture give a new definition to grilled sandwiches, hamburgers, fajitas, rye bread or apples and pears. It is sometimes blended with other cheeses, such as Monterey Jack, to make Colby Jack cheese.