The Cheese Explainer

By Kristine Hansen | Photo courtesy Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the respective companies

Having guests over or looking for a tasty pre-dinner app? It’s always a great time to whip up a cheese board. Stop by Fromagination, Brennan’s Market, Wisconsin Cheese Mart or the Babcock Dairy Store to stock up on a few of the varieties below.

Trend-Setter — Quark

CLOCK SHADOW CREAMERY, MILWAUKEE

One of only two urban creameries in the country, this outpost in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood makes a rare quark (plain and flavored cheese) that’s fresh and spreadable. clockshadowcreamery.com

Cool + Classic — Cheese Curds

ROELLI CHEESE HAUS, SHULLSBURG

Fourth-generation owner and Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli’s time-tested recipes churn out cheddar curds so fresh they squeak. roellicheese.com

Traditional – Master’s Reserve Cheddar

CARR VALLEY CHEESE, LA VALLE

Crafted by fourth-generation Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook, who has won at least 800 awards for his cheeses, this slightly aged cheese was added to Carr’s offerings in 2019. carrvalleycheese.com

Minimalist — Mild Brick

WIDMER’S CHEESE CELLARS OF WISCONSIN, THERESA

Now in its fourth generation, Joe and Joey Widmer make a non-fussy, but oh-so-good, brick that’s crafted in the original factory Joe’s family founded in 1922. widmerscheese.com

Globe-Trotter — Marieke Gouda

HOLLAND’S FAMILY CHEESE, THORP

When Netherlands-born Marieke Penterman moved to Wisconsin in the early 2000s, she missed her Gouda so much that she began making her own. She earned national and international awards right out of the gate — garnering her first just six months after launching her business. mariekegouda.com

Sports Buff — Triple Play

HOOK’S CHEESE COMPANY, MINERAL POINT

This blend of sheep, cow and goat milks (baby Swiss, Gouda and Havarti) is an homage to a rare three outs during a single play — which has only happened 727 times in Major League Baseball history. Owner and Master Cheesemaker Tony Hook’s genius cheese idea nabbed third place in 2015 at two cheese championships. hookscheese.com

Life of the Party — El Sancho Diablo

CESAR’S CHEESE, SHEBOYGAN FALLS

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, cheesemaker Cesar Luis folds in two of the hottest peppers (scorpion and ghost peppers) for some major heat in this cheddar. wisconsincheese.com/wi-cheese-companies

Daredevil — Limburger

CHALET CHEESE COOPERATIVE, MONROE

Founded by five farmers in 1885, this co-op is the only remaining U.S. producer of Limburger, although a half-century ago, about 100 Wisconsin creameries made this extremely pungent soft, ripened cheese. Hold your nose if you dare! chaletcheesecoop.com

More from Kristine Hansen
Experience A Pig in a Fur Coat and Alimentari
Daniel Bonanno is a James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef...
Read More
0 replies on “The Cheese Explainer”