Invented in 1885 by Joseph Steinwand in his father's cheese factory near Colby, Wisconsin, this cheese may be made with raw or pasteurized cow's milk. It's similar to cheddar but has a milder flavor and a softer, springier texture. These characteristics can be attributed to the fact that Colby is produced with a washed-curd technique whereby the drained curds are stirred with water, a process that removes all traces of lactose that natural bacteria might convert to acid. Longhorn is a Colby-style cheese that's sold in thick half-moon shapes. A popular hybrid is a mixture of Colby and Jack cheese, often called Colby Jack or CoJack. It's a blend of yellow-orange and ivory cheeses, the combination of which produces a marbled effect. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.