It’s a cookbook, sure, however, it’s also a practical travel manual for absolutely everyone who loves — and appreciates — Wisconsin cheese.
The new “Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook” by Kristine Hansen (Globe Pequot, $24.Ninety five) presents snapshots of 28 artisan creameries across the kingdom, introducing readers to no longer just their products however the human beings (and lovable animals) in the back of them.
Organized with the aid of quadrant of the kingdom, the e-book makes it easy for a cheese lover to plan an avenue experience.
Hansen herself visited ninety percentage of the creameries at the same time as gaining knowledge of her ebook; the others she had been to before.
One of the maximum fun to visit, in step with Hansen, is Door County Creamery. A visit starts offevolved at the creamery and store in Sister Bay (attempt some goat’s milk gelato, pick up a few goat’s milk soap) and then proceeds to the farm, wherein, in step with Hansen, “you could do goat yoga with the goats.”
“And you get to taste the cheeses at the same time as you’re searching on the goats,” she brought. “There’s no longer a deeper connection than that.”
Southwestern Wisconsin, arguably the epicenter of Wisconsin cheese, has the most extensive illustration, with thirteen creameries, inclusive of Carr Valley, Crave Brothers and Uplands; right here within the southeast, there are merely 3: Clock Shadow Creamery, Highfield Farm Creamery and Hill Valley Dairy. The northeast consists of BelGioso, LaClare, and Satori; the northwest, Holland’s Family Cheese and Yellow Door Creamery, among others.
Though she has written about Wisconsin cheese earlier than, Hansen did come upon some surprises on her trek.
“The cheesemakers are ways extra humble than I notion,” she said. “I arrived at Hook’s in Mineral Point, and he didn’t have a chair or stool I should take a seat on. These cheeses are bought everywhere in the u. S. A ., and yet they’re very primitive operations.”
Likewise, at Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg, proprietor and cheesemaker Chris Roelli “turned into a little bit overdue due to the fact he becomes still out milking the cows. He walked in his boots.”
The camaraderie amongst cheesemakers turned into every other factor she wasn’t looking forward to locating.
“There’s now not a sense of competitiveness,” she stated, noting that a few smaller cheesemakers can even bundle their out-of-state shipments together to keep the cash.
Perhaps such cooperation is feasible because so many of them have been a success.
Initially, the publisher, who approached Hansen approximately writing the book, said he wanted her to goal creameries that had won awards.
“I said, ‘Well, that’s anybody!’ “ (In the again of the book, Hansen fills eight pages with first awards gained by these Wisconsin cheesemakers over the past two years.)
So Hansen made her picks primarily based on creameries that had an exciting story, or possibly an ethnic, historical past dating lower back generations. Some cheese operations she profiles have been beginning within the 1800s, at the same time as others are much less than five years old.
In addition to creameries, the ebook consists of one-web page accounts of a dozen or so chefs, restaurants and retailers across the country “who’re actual champions of cheese and who use artisan Wisconsin cheeses on their menu.” Examples: Fromagination cheese keep in Madison, Dave Swanson of Milwaukee’s Braise restaurant, Canoe Bay resort near Chetek.
Other helpful features encompass a guide to cheese stores across the country and a listing of annual cheese activities in Wisconsin (even though it should be referred to that Green County Cheese Days takes place most straightforward in even years).
And then there are the recipes, 92 of them, almost all accrued from the cheesemakers themselves.
“That’s what makes them so special,” Hansen stated. “They’re not just recipes used of their marketing substances. A lot are recipes that as a circle of relatives they enjoy at domestic.”
Look for requirements with a twist, like Tuscan mac ’n’ cheese, easy recipes like a three-cheese fondue and elaborate creations which include Chocolate Ravioli with Chocolate Ganache, Goat Cheese and Raspberry Coulis.
“This is an ebook for those who already understand they love Wisconsin cheese however perhaps need to know greater approximately the face and the maker at the back of the cheese,” Hansen stated. Referencing the recipes, she said she hopes readers can be inspired to “consider cheese as a 24-hour ingredient that may be used in both sweet and savory approaches.”
“Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook” is bought at the diffusion of bookstores including Boswell Books in Milwaukee, Books & Company in Oconomowoc and Barnes & Noble, in addition to on Amazon.