It’s Official – Wisconsin has the best Cheese!
Well, I am proud to say a Wisconsin Cheese has won the World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, WI earlier this month. We offer up hearty Congratulations to Emmi Roth USA for it’s winning entry of Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix cheese. Even though the contest is held in Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, the judges are a well rounded panel of cheese experts from around the world. In fact, the last time any cheese from the U.S. won the Grand Prize was in 1988. I don’t claim to be a cheese expert or connoisseur, but, I do appreciate a variety of cheeses. In fact, I would go so far to say that many of us Wisconsinites have a tendency to complain when we travel to other states and find the selection of cheeses to be lacking. I believe this is a reflection of how fortunate we are to live in a place where excellent cheese makers abound.
Did you know Wisconsin produces more than 35 percent of all the cheese made in the US? It has been a tradition in Wisconsin for many, many years. Many of those producers are small family-owned and operated cheese factories working hard every day to give us those award winning cheese selections. Wisconsin boasts more than 80 cheese factories, many of whom offer tours to the public. You can make a day trip out of visiting some local cheese factories and sampling their products. Of course, there is a website to help you out with that, Wisconsin Cheese Factories and Tours.
Guests who stay at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast have an opportunity to visit several cheese factories, all within a 1 hour drive. Marieke Gouda in Thorp is a great place to visit, they produce an award-winning gouda cheese and have a café where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch. Marieke® Gouda is their signature cheese made with an authentic Old World Gouda recipe. The equipment, cultures, herbs and spices are all imported from Holland. The rBGH free cows milk from the Penterman Farm cows couldn’t be fresher being piped directly from the first milking of the day directly into the processing vat.
Yellowstone Cheese in Cadott, WI has been making cheese since 2007. The farm which produces the milk used to make the cheese is locally owned by Jeremy and Heidi Kenealy, along with their children Brad and Brooke. The Kenealy Farm is a Grade A, BGH Free farm and is located only 200 yards away from the factory. The milk is hauled over in a bulk tank on wheels, where it is then pumped into a pasteurizer and crafted into a variety of flavored cheeses using colby, monterey jack, or cheddar for the base.
The Cady Cheese Factory was established in 1908 in Cady Township on the outskirts of Wilson, WI. At two different points in it’s history the factory was destroyed by fire, both times they rebuilt and now they produce over 50,000 lbs of cheese per production day! The Cady Cheese Factory is known for its Colby longhorn cheese. It also produces Cheddar longhorn, Monterey Jack, and a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack called Gold’n Jack. The newest addition to the product line is the mini-deli longhorn, which is four inches in diameter – the right size for a burger or a sandwich. Cady also makes a large variety of flavored cheeses such as Hot Pepper Jack, Salsa Cheddar, Garlic Jack, Roasted Garlic Jack, Bacon and Onion Colby, Jack and Dill.
So, the next time you are looking for adventure for the day, don’t forget to check out your local cheese factory.