10 slices of Wisconsin cheese wisdom a true cheesehead should know – Green Bay Press Gazette

Posted: June 8, 2020 at 4:46 pm

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Cheese curds are a typical Wisconsin food.(Photo: Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.)

A true cheesehead knows more than how to identify fresh curds.Any cheese amateurcan squeak the squeak if the cheese curd is fresh.

The path to full cheesehead enlightenment begins with knowledge beyond the curd. Here are 10 Wisconsin cheese facts to begin your journey.

Curd color:Most cheese fanatics know cheese curds are fresh globs of cheddar and should squeak when eaten. True cheeseheads know the difference between white and orange-yellow curds is the addition of a dye made fromannatto seed.

Best fried curds: Two recent efforts declared two different Wisconsin restaurants the deep-fried cheese curd champion. One reportsthe best curds are at Stone Arch Brewpub in Appleton; the other says head to The Old Fashioned in Madison. If you scoffat any list that doesn't begin with "your" cheese curd destination, add a stamp to your cheesehead passport.

True Sconnie cheeses: Curds are undeniably a Wisconsin cheese specialty. It doesn't take a cheese detective to connect Colby to its origins in Colby, Wisconsin. The cheese history buff knows that in 1877 John Jossi started using bricks to press a new cheese known today as, well, brick. Working in Limburger cheese plants led Jossi to use acurd for brick cheese that was drier than Limburger with lower levels of the bacterium linens used to rub the outer rind to develop the flavor.

Limburger loner:Speaking of Limburger, every hunk of thischeesemadein the United States comes from Wisconsin. We can all thank the Chalet Cheese Cooperative near Monroe for keeping stores stocked with this formerly popular but still odorous cheese.

String perfection:Baker Cheese produces nearly 3 million string cheese sticks per day. The St. Cloud-based cheesemaker is a specialist tapped by companies to make string cheese wrapped in their brand name. Almost 90% of the string cheese produced here is private label shipping out to all50 states, Mexico, South Korea and other countries.

Cheddar by age:You don't have to be a cheese genius to know cheddar gets sharper as it ages. Memorize this chart to earn a stamp on your true cheesehead card.

Lots of mozz: Cheddar and curds get lots of love but neither is the big cheese when it comes to Wisconsin production. One third of all Wisconsin cheese made in 2018 was mozzarella. Cheddar was a close second at 20.9%.

U.S. quantity champs:Wisconsin cheesemakers produced 3.36 billion pounds in 2019, which is 26% of the nations cheese.

U.S. quality champs:Wisconsin cheesemakers won the most medals at the 2019 United States Championship Cheese Contest, including 57 best of class awards.

Level up your status:If you want to improve your cheesehead status, stock your fridge with the best Wisconsin made cheeses. Here are the top scored Wisconsin made cheeses at each of the biannualUnited States Championship Cheese Contest. (* indicates overall champion)

Grand master cheeseheads maybegrudgingly offer a tip of theircheese wedge foam hats to anyone whoseexpertise is limited by the knowledge put forth here. Be patient young curdsqueaker, the journey of the full cheese enlightenment begins with a single bite.

Contact Daniel at (920) 996-7214or dphiggin@gannett.com. Follow himon Twitter and Instagram at @HigginsEats.

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10 slices of Wisconsin cheese wisdom a true cheesehead should know - Green Bay Press Gazette

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June 8th, 2020 at 4:46 pm

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