;

If Wisconsin were a country, it would be a superpower. At least in cheese. America’s Dairyland outproduces all but three nations, racking up international awards along the way.


Article Sourced from www.midwestliving.com | Writer: Trevor Meers; Location photographer: Kevin J. Miyazaki; Food photographer: Blaine Moats





My grocery budget—probably like yours—has no spot for “Pound of cheese: $40.” But you can’t really think of a cheese like Pleasant Ridge Reserve as groceries. In my way of thinking, the 10 bucks I spend on a reasonable wedge of this all-star from Wisconsin’s Uplands Cheese Company is the price of a bargain vacation.


At home, I unwrap the triangle carefully, like a letter from a traveling friend. From there, it’s a short trip into the world of Andy Hatch. Because I once visited his creamery, I can taste the rich backstory in a slice of Andy’s handiwork. Hidden somewhere in the cheese’s flavor, I know, is a hint of early-summer grass, the only kind Andy trusts to produce the right milk. More specifically, what I’m tasting is early-summer evening milk that arrives in the workroom warm from the milking parlor next door, rich with more fat than milk given any other time of day. I eat the cheese slowly, remembering a place where limestone flavors the soil, the grass, the milk, the cheese.


That’s a lot of experience from 10 bucks. And every good cheese shop (or even a well-curated suburban grocery store) is full of such escapes. The average American eats 33 pounds of cheese each year, and making a small portion of it a specialty cheese is a chance to turn ordinary meals into events.


The unquestioned mecca of cheese journeys is America’s Dairyland—Wisconsin—which produces 25 percent of America’s cheese and more than every nation except Germany, France and the rest of the United States. Want proof that there’s quality with all that quantity? At last year’s American Cheese Society competition, Wisconsin claimed 93 awards, marking the eighth straight year it won more than any other state.


If you can make an actual road trip, you’ll see such artwork in progress at cheese factories large and small across the state. The buildings are extravagantly clean, full of white uniforms, gleaming metal vats, and the mixed scents of cream and bleach. All this perfectionism makes the entire cheese community an inspiration to hang around, an island of craft in a mass-produced world.


And if you stop to chat with a cheesemaker like those featured in this story, you’ll learn that even they still find the process enchanting. “The older cheesemakers get, the less they say they know how cheese making works,” says Ed Janus, who writes frequently about Wisconsin cheese. “Many master cheesemakers are still fascinated every time the cheese turns out. It’s like that magical process every single time.”


Take our recipes, tasting guide and profiles as your invitation to venture out, beyond pepper Jack and mozzarella. We asked several chefs to share new ways to cook with cheese—and melting it over things is nowhere in the mix. Good cheese, after all, asserts itself even in supporting roles. That’s a new way of thinking for a lot of cheese fans, but it’s all part of the journey.


CONTINUE READING FULL ARTICLE

More Articles

Schreiner's 01

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Schreiner’s Restaurant & Bay View Packing Company

On the season finale of Wisconsin Foodie, we visit Schreiner’s Restaurant, Bay View Packing company, and close it out with Wolski’s.

by: Arthur Ircink

Deer Butchery 01

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: DEER HUNT

It’s deer season this week on Wisconsin Foodie! Keith Warnke from the Department of Natural Resources guides us as well as Kyle through the Wisconsin tradition of hunting.

by: Arthur Ircink

Roelli01

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Roelli Cheese & Driftless Café

This week, we eat some of Roelli Cheese’s award winning cheese and make some incredible dishes with it at Driftless Café.

by: Arthur Ircink

Amaranth01

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE : Amaranth Bakery & Madison Sourdough Company

This week, we load on the carbs with Amaranth Bakery and Madison Sourdough Company.

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.13.25 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Rushing Waters

This week, we’re going fishing at Rushing Waters Trout Farm!

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 1.25.36 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Apple Sauced | Weston’s Antique Apples | New Glarus Fruit Caves

We are all things apple this week on Wisconsin Foodie! We check out Edible Milwaukee’s Apple Sauced Event, Weston’s Antique Apple Orchard, and New Glarus Brewery’s new fruit caves.

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 3.54.13 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Cheese Days

We celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cheese Days in Monroe, Wi!

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen shot 2015-02-03 at 4.48.11 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Fondy Farm Feast & Dinner Service

We dine at two farm dinners! First, the Fondy Farm Feast and then at Dinner Service!

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 12.16.59 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Door County Creamery & Door County Brewery

This week we return to Door County to check out Door County Creamery and Door County Brewery.

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen shot 2015-01-19 at 2.57.51 PM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: The Victory Garden Initiative

This week on Wisconsin Foodie, we help Gretchen Mead install gardens in people’s as part of the Victory Garden Initiative. Then we come back to see how Concordia Gardens has grown over the season.

by: Arthur Ircink

WMMB - Rotational AD
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op v2
Our Media Partners

Copyright © 2012 Wisconsin Foodie. All rights reserved.

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Wisconsin Foodie