We hadn’t either. And even after looking through The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide (Canada, UK), The Cheese Bible (Canada, UK), A Cook’s Guide to Cheese (Canada, UK), The World Encyclopedia of Cheese (Canada, UK), The World of Cheese, and four food dictionaries, we were coming up dry.
The Internet provided our answer, however, introducing us to the "world-famous" Pinconning Cheese, by way of the The Pinconning Cheese Store. The store’s web site says, "Pinconning cheese is a variation formula of Colby-style cheese. It is semi hard, with an open texture, which allows it to age quite well from mild to super sharp. Original Pinconning cheese, as sold here, is produced in Michigan. Grocery stores which sell prepackaged Pinconning-style cheese, are not selling the original Michigan Pinconning cheese. This cheese is most likely produced in Wisconsin under a different formula."
With the hundreds of varieties of cheeses produced in little villages in Switzerland, France, England, and elsewhere - certainly too numerous to all be cataloged even in the comprehensive reference books we have at Ochef.com - it is not too surprising to find a world-famous Michigan variety that somehow escaped the world’s attention (but not the attention of those cheese-copycats in Wisconsin!)