Let’s take a moment to talk about the obvious. I’m from Wisconsin. And I like cheese. I’m so glad that’s out in the open now. Given my love of cheese you can imagine my excitement when I was invited on a cheese tour hosted by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Sign me up! I’m going to cover my tour experience today and tomorrow starting with the cheese makers that we visited. Starting with Clock Shadow Creamery.
Clock Shadow Creamery is an urban creamery located here in Milwaukee in a beautiful new facility. The creamery opened in 2012 in a very green facility. They even recycle the rain water for the toilets. They specialize in two things: cheese curds and quark. I’m pretty familiar with cheese curds but quark was quite new to me. Quark is a soft, spreadable cheese that can be purchased in a tub. Typically this cheese is used for sandwiches, salads and cheesecake. It is quite rare to find quark these days but they have it! They also share the space with Purple Door Ice Cream which just started incorporating quark into their flavors!
From here we traveled north to Theresa, Wisconsin to a vintage creamery called Widmer’s Cheese Cellars. This creamery offered a much more nostalgic feel to cheese making and has been around since 1922. The creamery is run by Joe Widmer who is a third generation cheese maker. Their specialty is Brick cheese of which I learned it is called ‘brick’ because it is processed and formed using actual bricks. Joe still uses the bricks that his grandfather used nearly 100 years ago. Joe is a Master Cheese Maker of both Brick and Colby cheeses. Pretty impressive! We were able to try a variety of the cheese that Widmer’s produces including a 10 year aged cheddar. Delicious!
We ended our day at Kelley Country Creamery in Fon du Lac which is a lovely little ice cream shop. The shop is a family run operation headed up by Tim and Karen Kelley along with their 5 children. All of the dairy comes from their farm which is just outside of the ice cream shop. I’m a huge fan of ice cream so you can imagine my excitement when I eyed up all of the available flavors. Even more exciting was getting to watch a batch of white chocolate raspberry being made…and then tasting it after. Delicious and fresh!
I would encourage you to check out each of these places if you’re ever in southeastern Wisconsin. You won’t be disappointed!