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Jun 29, 2008 03:35 PM

Wisconsin Cheese .... amazing

I had a chance week before last to tour a bunch of Wisconsin cheese factories. It was simply amazing. I tasted cheese as good or better than anything i tasted on my tours in france. A must tour for any foodie.

Roth Kaase in Monroe is a great stop. They give some tours, have a computerized smear machine, an unbelievable store, and distribute many of the artisan makers in Monroe. They also employ 5 master cheese makers. Obviously based on the amount of Swiss apprentices there they must be doing something right. Cheese to must try:
Buttemilk Blue -- un beliveable finish ..real smooth
Gruyere -- there signature
Van Gogh -- really great with a hazelnut aftertaste

Chalet in monticello is the last maker of limburger in the United States. If that isn't reason enough their baby swis has won international awards. Lots of german accents in hte long time workers

Crave Bothers in waterloo has the best mozzarella and Marscapone in hte world. 100% organic and they make all their own power. Marcapone so good it ruins you for all others afterwords.

To set up tours go to
Great road trips to see them all.
I think they even have a road trip / tour set up on the site

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  1. The Crave Bros. moxxarella has been my little secret here in St Louis lately! It is the most flavorful mozzarella I have ever had. I was able to pull some fresh on Sat! What a neat thing to do!

    Glad you enjoyed your cheese tour of WI. It's fun, isn't it???

    4 Replies
    1. re: CheesemongersWife

      Crave Brothers has a soft rind-washed cheese called Les Freres which is simply outstanding. It's available occasionally at Kowalski's in the Twin Cities area.

      1. re: CheesemongersWife

        Would you be willing to reveal where in St. Louis you purchase the Crave Bros. mozzarella?
        Thanks very much,

          1. re: CheesemongersWife

            Thanks very much. I'll try to get over there on my lunch hour.

      2. I'm no cheese connoisseur, but when I go to Hayward and back, I always stop at the Burnett Cheese Factory on Hwy. 70, just east of Grantsburg.

        They may not be known for gourmet cheese, but their cheese curds and string cheese are phenomenal.

        1. I have some family of close friends who work at Roth Kase, and get to sample their product whenever I visit them. GREAT stuff.

          If you're in Madison, stop at Fromagination, on the Capitol square. Awesome little cheese shop, very Old World feel, cool staff, and a huge selection.

          1. Roth Kases Private Reserve won big at the ACS last year. It's great stuff. I second Burnett Dairy Cooperative. They are also involved in Fenceline Dairy's cheeses, and those are fantastic if you can find them. I think in the TC they may be available at the Farm in the Market at Midtown Global.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheeseguysgirl

              What kind of cheese is the Private Reserve? And where can you get it?

              I've had the Roth Kaase 10-year old cheddar at a party and it was a revelation. Excellent. I don't think it's that easy to find. Anyone seen that anywhere?

              1. re: karykat

                It's a Gruyere style. You can get it at Lunds/Byerlys and Kowalski's (but not at Surdyk's). I've never heard of a Roth Kaase 10 year cheddar, so I can't tell you where you would find that, sorry!

            2. Then you've got to check out Tony Hook's 12 Year sharp cheddar... it is to die for - smooth, yet crystally. Love the stuff. I first found at the Madison Farmer's Market, and found it at the Milwaukee Public Market last week, but it was either $45.99 or $47.99 a lb! I order it direct from the farm & it seems it's much less than that, even with shipping to California. I've heard the Beverly Hills Cheese Store has it now, but I shudder to think of what their prices would be...

              Now I've got to try that Crave Bros stuff - I'm back in Milwaukee next week - any ideas on where to find - does Sendicks on Oakland have it or the Public Market?

              3 Replies
              1. re: torta basilica

                Their 10 year cheddar is just as delicious, and I would imagine less expensive and more readily available. I say it has the texture of crystalline fudge. Also a good version is Joe Widmer's 8 year cheddar. Harder to find, unless you're near Theresa, WI and go see him.

                1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                  I love that description - crystalline fudge - perfect!!

                  1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                    I tried the 10 year - thank you - you just saved me $13 a lb!! It is very very good - told the ladies at the West Allis Cheese counter at the Milwaukee Public Market about your description of it - they thought that was the best ever too & asked if they could use it... Hope you don't mind, said yes on your behalf :)

                    I bought some of the Menage a Trois goat, sheep & cow's milk cheese & liked that too - unfortunately left it at my MIL's & can't remember the maker.

                    Also got the Crave Bros. Mascarpone from Sendik's - yummmm!!!

                    Have been back there for very sad reasons, but it's amazing how good cheese cheers me up so!