Make mine cheese!
OK, I’ve spent a lot of time in recent days blogging about food, but it’s one of those topics all can identify with, so here’s one more.
When we attend the Janesville Farmers Market downtown on Saturdays, my wife and I like to stop at the Decatur Dairy stand on the north end. As The Gazette reported in April, the dairy’s Havarti, pepper Havarti and white Muenster won best of class in their categories at the World Champion Cheese Contest in Madison in March, while the dill Havarti took second place.
Yum. Cheryl and I were debating whether to buy a block of the plain Havarti or the Havarti with sliced olives (my preference) last Saturday. We wound up with one of each.
I also grabbed a free map, “A Traveler’s Guide to America’s Dairyland.” It’s fascinating. I realized we haven’t visited many of the more than 100 cheesemakers and cheese shops (some sell, wine, too!) on the map. We haven’t even been to Decatur Dairy, on Highway F just north of Brodhead.
I have stopped at Meister Cheese Co. in Muscoda; after all, the owners/operators are neighbors to our land on the Wisconsin River just north of Muscoda. Cheryl and I also have stopped at the Arena Cheese Shop on Highway 14 in Arena on our way to Muscoda.
The map also includes interesting facts. Such as that it takes 10 pounds of milk to produce one pound of cheese. That Colby cheese was named in 1874 after the little community of Colby in north-central Wisconsin. And that the average American eats more than 31 pounds of cheese each year.
Cheryl and I enjoy cheese, but I don’t think we eat THAT much. We generally consume no more than 1½ pounds in a block and spreads every two weeks. Of course, that doesn’t account for cheese toppings on pizza and other foods.
Decatur’s Havarti might be my favorite cheese. I don’t care much for Swiss, but we do keep a block of medium cheddar in the fridge, and in recent years I adopted my dad’s love of blue cheese. What are your favorites?
The map provides Cheryl and me with lots of tasty ideas for future road trips.