During World War II, when imported parmesan was scarce, California’s Italians turned to monterey jack. They coated it with cocoa, pepper, and olive oil and aged it for at least nine months. The result was a hard, nutty cheese similar to its Italian cousin. Parmesan is now plentiful, but monterey jack still has its place in Italian-American cooking, thanks to this delightfully cheesy mix.
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup romano cheese
- 1⁄3 cup dry monterey jack
- Grate the cheeses by hand or in a food processor. Mix them well and store in covered container up to three months.