Famous People: David 'Monterey'
David 'Monterey' Jacks
(1822 - 1909), the Californian rancher who first marketed Monterey Jack
Cheese on a large scale, was born in Crieff.
Check out Crieff
on this site or on
In 1849 David Jacks arrived
in California to seek his fortune and ended up owning more land in Monterey
County than anyone else.
Early Spanish colonists in
California introduced Queso del Pais - literally 'country cheese'. At the
peak of his agricultural empire Jacks had 14 dairy ranches which in total
gave him 60000 acres of prime agricultural land. With such 'muscle' Jacks
totally dominated the manufacture of local cheese by the 1880s.
At first he marketed it as
Jacks Cheese but soon customers were calling it simply Monterey Jack and
that was the name which stuck.
Monterey Jack cheese,
when aged two or three weeks is pale with a smooth mild flavour. Dry
Monterey Jack which is aged more than six months has a rich sharp flavour
and is an ideal cheese for grating
The local Strathearn family
name of David Jacks appears to have been Jack with no 's', however in California
he was know as David Jacks. But it does seem interesting that the cheese
name became the original family name Jack.
David Jacks died in 1909 and
was buried in Monterey, California.