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

image004

Wisconsin honored by Wine Spectator

Wisconsin has been honored in Wine Spectator’s newly released 2014 Restaurant Awards

by: Arthur Ircink

Wisn

Television Schedule

Follow Wisconsin Foodie’s current television schedule. Stay up to date with all new episodes as well as your favorite shows from past season’s. Click on the station in your market.

by: Arthur Ircink

Pheasant Hunt

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: The Pheasant Hunt

On this week’s episode, Kyle goes on a pheasant hunt and learns the benefits of harvesting and preparing your own food.

by: admin

Chicken Verde

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Rockabilly Chili Contest

This week on Foodie, Kyle samples chili at the 12th Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser and we go into the kitchen with two of competition’s chefs.

by: admin

GloriousMalone

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage & Firkin Beer Fest

On this week’s episode, discover Glorious Malone’s Milwaukee-made headcheese and the Firkin Beer Festival.

by: admin

Curdsand15yrCheddar

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: HOOK’S CHEESE

On this week’s episode of Wisconsin Foodie, we visit the legendary Hook’s Cheese Company in Mineral Point, WI.

by: admin

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 9.55.10 AM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Wienke’s Market & Fermentation Fest

In this episode of Wisconsin Foodie we explore the world of Fermentation

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 11.50.28 AM

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Notes From Underground

In this weeks episode we travel to Madison, WI to visit The Underground Food Collective’s newest ventures.

by: Arthur Ircink

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 3.46.26 PM

This Week on Foodie: Sartori Cheese & Ditter Family Dairy Farm

This week on Wisconsin Foodie we profile a 4th generation dairy family and a 4th generation cheese producer.

by: Arthur Ircink

cupcakes_lamantin

WUWM: Have These Food Trends Become Stale?

Even though Festivus is over, Lake Effect contributor Kyle Cherek still has some food-related grievances to air.

by: Kyle Cherek

Outpost Natural Foods Co-op v2
Letterbox Tea
Wollerseim
Underwriters
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Outpost Natural Foods Co-op Colectivo Coffee Roasters wollersheim winery Something Special In Wisconsin Potawatomi Dept of Natural Resources Superior Equipment and Supply

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