18 Interesting Wisconsin Cheese Facts That You Probably Didn't Know | Kidadl


18 Interesting Wisconsin Cheese Facts That You Probably Didn't Know

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Wisconsin cheese is a kind of cheese produced in the state of Wisconsin, USA.

Wisconsin has a long history of cheese production, and the cheese and dairy sectors of Wisconsin are prominently connected in popular culture. This is one of the reasons that this culturally diverse state has gone on to create its own moniker, 'America's Dairyland,' being the highest producer of cheese in all of the USA.

The southeastern part of Wisconsin was colonized by eastern pioneers who arrived by the Great Lakes Canal and the Erie Canal in the 1830s and 1840s. By 1850, new immigrants from Switzerland, Norway, and Germany had arrived in Wisconsin's interior and established many settlements. Immigrants, along with American pioneers from the east, began making farmstead cheese nearly as soon as they arrived in their new settlements. In 1849, Wisconsin farmers produced 400,283 pounds (181565.315 kg) of cheese, according to census figures from 1850. Wisconsin cheese production shifted from southeast to west, then north and northwest.

In Koshkonong, Wisconsin, the first farmstead cheese manufacturing was established in 1831. Mrs. Anne Pickett, utilizing milk from her neighbors' cows, founded Wisconsin's first 'cottage industry cheese factory' in 1841. John J. Smith acquired Wisconsin's first cheese vat 17 years later and began making cheese at home in Sheboygan County. In 1846, Swiss settlers moved cows from Ohio to start a farmstead cheese business in New Glarus (a tiny town in southwest Wisconsin). At this time, cheese was made on the farm by women.

In Wisconsin, cheese and cheese-making were essential, but the growth of the cheese business was often overshadowed by the wheat culture. But then, the focus of agriculture changed to dairy farming and cheese-making. Farmers started to see the benefit of cooperating and combining their resources to transform their milk into cheese and other dairy products, such as curds, at a centralized cheese processing plant. In a modest log cottage southwest of New Glarus, Nicholas Gerber established the first Green County, Wisconsin cheese factory in 1868. This was Wisconsin's first Limburger cheese plant and one of 53 cooperative cheese manufacturers erected in the state between 1864 and 1874. Wisconsin had a whopping 1500 factories by the year 1899.

History Of Wisconsin Cheese

Wisconsin has a long history of cheese-making dating back to the 19th century. The rich fields of Wisconsin drew European immigrants to the state. Dairy farms grew throughout Wisconsin, and farmers started making cheese to store their extra milk. Anne Pickett, using milk from her neighbors' cows, founded Wisconsin's first commercialized cheese factory in 1841. Wisconsin had more than 1,500 cheese manufacturers at the turn of the century, producing over 500 million pounds (226.796185 kg) of cheese each year. Wisconsin has long been associated with cheese: 'Cheese represents the state's history, pride, and self-deprecating, often funny, cheese-head attitude to life,' according to a 2006 New York Times article. Since 1910, when it surpassed New York as the greatest cheese-producing state in the United States, Wisconsin has held the distinction. Despite predictions that California's faster-growing cheese sector will soon overtake Wisconsin's output, Wisconsin manufactured 2.4 billion pounds (1.088 kg) of cheese in 2006, maintaining its top position.

Wisconsin maintained its advantage, which had started to expand somewhat in 2007. Wisconsin's cheese output increased to 2.6 billion lb (1.2 billion kg) in 2010, necessitating the state's cheese business to import a significant quantity of milk from other states to satisfy demand. Wisconsin produced 2.9 billion lb (1.3 billion kg) of cheese in 2014, accounting for 25.4% of all cheese manufactured in the United States.

Wisconsin, which produces over 600 distinct cheese kinds, is still the leading cheese producer in the United States as of 2013. Wisconsin is probably the only state in the United States that requires a licensed cheesemaker to oversee commercial cheese production. America's Dairyland is also the only known state to provide a master cheesemaker program, which is modeled after comparable schools in Europe and adheres to strict requirements.

Health Benefits Of Wisconsin Cheese

Wisconsin Cheese has several health benefits, including:

Muscle and bone health: Cheese is high in calcium and protein, which helps to create strong bones and muscles. Cheese is quite high in whey protein, the same kind of protein found in many powdered muscle-building supplements. Cheese is high in calcium since it is manufactured from milk. Calcium can assist in strengthening growing bones and prevent osteoporosis as we become older. Vitamins A, D, K, and Zinc, all of which can be found in cheese, are known to help with bone health.

Reduce your blood pressure: Dairy items, such as cheese, include a lot of calcium, which can help lower blood pressure. Decrease-fat, low-sodium cheeses can help lower blood pressure when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Protection of the blood vessels: According to research, cheese and curds can be a rich source of glutathione, an antioxidant that aids with brain function. This antioxidant activity can also aid in the correct functioning of blood vessels. A 2016 research found that individuals who ate cheese food had healthier blood arteries than those who ate pretzels or soy cheese food.

Gut health: Probiotic bacteria can be found in fermented foods like cheese, fresh curds, and cheese curds. Healthy gut flora has been proven in several small trials to help keep cholesterol levels under check.

Wisconsin produces 47% of all specialty cheese manufactured in the United States, according to the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

Nutritional Value Of Wisconsin Cheese

The following are some of the beneficial elements found in Wisconsin cheese:

Vitamin D, protein, calcium, vitamin A, zinc, vitamin B-12, and vitamin K.

How Is Wisconsin Cheese Made

Almost everyone in Wisconsin is familiar with the cheese-making process, but most people leave the cheese-making to the pros. People are very pleased to leave it to the 1,200 licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers, including several master cheesemakers, to create the 600+ types of cheeses that are manufactured.

Most cheeses are created in the same manner, whether it's mild cheddar, mozzarella, blue cave cheese, Colby, or the greatest Gruyère cheddar. Wisconsin milk from cows, goats, sheep, and even buffalo is used in the cheese-making process by dairy farmers. To convert the lactose in milk to lactic acid and thus give the cheese its signature taste, a starting culture of bacteria is introduced to the milk. In addition, rennet is used to coagulate the milk, resulting in solid cheese curds and watery whey. The cheese curds can be chopped or milled to a finer texture after the whey is drained off; smaller curds release more moisture and form firmer cheeses. To release more whey and modify the texture of the curds, certain cheeses, such as cheddar, are manipulated or heated. The cheese is then salted or brined for a length of time before being squeezed into a mold and aged for a few days, weeks, months, or years. A vat of Wisconsin milk can become Gouda, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Colby, Parmesan, or ricotta due to variations in this fundamental process.


What cheese is Wisconsin famous for?

According to experts, cheddar is undoubtedly the most famous cheese in the United States. Wisconsin also produces the most cheddar in the United States.

Why is cheese important in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has been manufacturing cheese, especially cheddar for nearly 180 years, which can explain why they have won so many accolades and why cheese is so important there. It's what happens when an entire state is obsessed with cheese.

What percentage of cheese comes from Wisconsin?

Although Wisconsin's dairy business is rated second in various categories, the state's cheese industry continues to thrive, being the highest in the country. The state produces 25% of the cheese eaten in the United States. Additionally, the state also produces 25% of the butter consumed in the United States. The state exports these agricultural goods to about 150 nations.

What is the most produced cheese in Wisconsin?

The cheddar made from Wisconsin cows' milk is the most produced cheese in Wisconsin.

What makes Wisconsin cheese so good?

The culture, heritage, history, expertise, health benefits, and the fact that it is produced from 100% natural milk of Wisconsin cows makes the cheese of Wisconsin so good.

What cheeses are native to Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has profited from early European immigrants' customs and traditions since their cheese-making processes are being used in Wisconsin even today. Despite the abundance of great cheeses that can be traced back to Europe, Wisconsin is home to several kinds, including brick and Colby.

Who brought cheese making to Wisconsin?

In 1846, Swiss settlers moved cows from Ohio to start a farmstead cheese business in New Glarus (a tiny town in southwest Wisconsin). At this time, cheese was made on the farm by Swiss women.

Written By
Divya Raghav

<p>With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.</p>

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