Fond du Lac, WI
One of the things that Wisconsin is noted for is cheese. Now, most people would think that’s nice, stop at a cheese store or two to sample and maybe make a purchase, and that would be it. But in our little world one of us has this “thing” for cheese and cheese plants. We’ve been to Vermont many times and each time we “must” visit little Cabot’s Creamery and taste their product. We visited the coast of Oregon and the highlight was a visit to Tillamook Cheese Plant. Now that we are in Wisconsin, cheese has again become a focus of our travels!
If you are going to make cheese, you need milk, and to get milk you need cows. That’s not a problem here as Wisconsin is filled with dairy farms. Their license plates even brag about it, stating “America’s Dairyland” under a picture of a dairy farm.
The day after our trip to Milwaukee, we spent the morning checking out some of the cheese plants near Fond du Lac. The first was Widmer’s Cheese Cellars in Theresa, WI. When you walk in the door of the store, you find yourself looking at the cheese making area.
Widmer’s is known for making brick cheese. It’s pretty simple to explain the name as the cheese is made in the shape of a brick and as it sits in the pan, a brick is placed on top.
On your left as you enter the store there is a nice home made display of the cheese making process at Widmer’s.
Apparently one of the rules of a “cheese tour” is that you discuss cheese with the proprietor at every stop and make at least one purchase.
The clerk really upped the ante on this tour when she gave us a map of all the cheese plants in Wisconsin. Who knew a map could bring such joy to one traveler while bringing panic to the other!
But we made it out of Widmer’s with minimum time and expense. Note the joy on the face of the happy shopper below!
Now back in the car and on with the tour. After a 30 minute ride through the heartland where cows outnumber people by at least 10 to 1, we arrived at a small community (emphasize small!) of Beechwood, WI, home of Beechwood Cheese. You can’t see the cheese making process from the store (a big disappointment to some of us) but you do get to taste their specialty, chicken soup cheese (it tasted pretty good). Again, another happy shopper pictured below!
The next day we were out for a motorcycle ride and, surprise, came upon a cheese plant north of the city of Appleton.
The tour was scheduled to continue until one of the participants found a cheese curd that would rival that found in Clayton, NY. Fortunately for the other tour participant, the cheese curd at Scray’s was a winner! The tour can now come to an end (at last) ! ! ! Maybe now we can get back to visiting history sites . . .