Say cheese, please

Well, of course we celebrated National Cheese Day yesterday and I assume you did too.

It’s true that here in Wisconsin every day is national cheese day and we don’t really need a hashtag to remind us.

Still, I love a good random holiday so I yesterday went all out. I hit two of our local cheese stores and a gas station (because they have the freshest curds, in my humble opinion).

If you did celebrate national cheese day yesterday, I’m going to guess your cheese celebration had a little more dignity than mine. Maybe you even nibbled yours with a nice pinot noir.

Me? I poured several glasses of apple juice and watched a bunch of boys devour my artfully designed cheese plate.

I got a big kick out of the whole thing and they humored me when I quizzed them on their favorites. The conversation went something like this:

“That’s called fresh cheddar and it’s squeaky like cheese curds, but I thought it tasted a little bland. Did you like it?”


“What about the colby? I like that for grilled cheese. Is that good?”


“Did you like the medium cheddar or the smoked string cheese better?”


I would have added a few follow-up questions but they were very busy seeing who could stuff a mozzarella whip into his mouth the fastest and I didn’t want to distract them. I haven’t Heimliched anyone in a good long while and the awkwardness of that whole maneuver might have tamped down all of our enthusiasm for the occasion.

I loved that they were loving the cheese, so I let them have their fun.

The whole experience confirmed what I have known for most of my life about Wisconsin cheese:

  1. It’s a redundant phrase unless you’re really craving some Roquefort, which is illegal to consume here in the U.S.
  2. More than 90 percent of Wisconsin Dairy milk goes to the production of cheese. So, with every slice of real cheese you’re helping the great Wisconsin dairy industry. Eat up, people!
  3. Wisconsin boys love their cheese. It’s why we grow them big and strong around here.
  4. Wisconsin girls love their cheese too. It’s just that I didn’t have any of those on hand last night.
  5. You should really grate your own cheese. Most of the pre-grated stuff has cellulose added to it to keep it from clumping. That’s why the freshly grated stuff melts and tastes a lot better.
  6. The more aged the cheddar, the tastier the cheese. (I’m all for things that get more appealing as they age.)

If you’re just kicking yourself this morning because you missed the big day, fear not! June is dairy month, so you have at least 25 more days to join in the fun!

Shortly after I put together this cheese plate in honor of National Cheese Day, a bunch of boys stormed my kitchen, which was excellent timing because they dug right in. They even ate the grapes, cranberries and almonds I added for palate cleansers.
I really think Wisconsin Cheese is a redundant phrase.
I mean, where else can you assemble a whole wardrobe out of the stuff?
To celebrate, I went to Simon’s Cheese, Lamers Dairy (where ice cream cones are on sale for 50 cents all month) and MotoMart.

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