Who’s Jack???

The recernt story in The Inquirer about our Full Nettle Jack cheese made us wonder: why in the world would they call a cheese Jack?? So we did a little research and this is what we came up with:
Like  so many other cheeses (aka abbey cheeses), the cheese known as Monterey Jack  was originally made by Italian Franciscan monks in the 18th century.
The semi-soft, creamy cheese came to  the New World with  Spanish missionaries, first to Mexico and from there to California. They used to call it “Queso del Pais” (cheese of the land) and some small producers in the Monterey Bay area would sell it door to door.
Now “Jack” was the guy who “discovered” it. His real name wasn’t Jack, actually, but David Jacks. He was a Scottish business man who came to Monterey, CA during the Gold Rush.  With the shrewdness of a businessman Jacks  leveraged the cheese and claimed it his own. Apparently it worked, because today everybody calls Monterrey Jack, Jack…
As for the cheese itself, our Full Nettle Jack is the ultimate melter and is wonderful in grilled cheeses. For a delicious, quick dinner, get two slices of good crusty bread, bacon from our farm store (you will need to slice and cook it), sliced local summer tomato and, of course, our Full Nettle Jack.
Slather the bread with with some mayo, make a sandwich and grill it.  Add  a green salad you got yourself a delicious summer meal.

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens