More from the road! Monger pals, giant cows, dairy expos, and roadside cheese castles!
Have you ever connected with someone on Instagram and immediately hit it off? So much so that you consider them a mentor and a friend? Well that’s the story of my pal Carrie! Carrie and their partner Anthony were visiting family on the island over the summer and we bonded over Grey Barn cheeses. We got to see Carrie in action behind the cheese counter and then catch up over some fried cheese curds. Honestly, cheese pals are such wonderful pals 🥰
There were a few stops we made a long the way that I would classify as “roadside cheese attractions”. First, we visited Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet and encountered a massive cow statue outside. We took a ton of photos and learned her name is Sissy. Inside, we were greeted by a massive cheese case displaying all sorts of whacky and wonderful cut-to-order cheddars. The flavors ranged from Pumpkin Spice (yuck!) to Dragon’s Breath (yum!). When we probed the cashiers for more info about the cheeses (where did they come from? who are the dairy farmers? what about the cheesemakers?) we didn’t get very compelling responses (“ummm not sure…”).
Another piece of the cheese journey was a serendipitous stop at the World Dairy Expo, which also happened to be in Madison! WORLD Dairy Expo! Would you believe me if I said that this was a totally unplanned coincidence? Well it was! We spent the morning at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum and drove right past the convention center, saw the sign, and popped right in! This was a truly WILD experience, one that I might need to unpack in a post of its own. For now, I’ll just say that I got a peek behind the Big Dairy curtain.
The final roadside cheese attraction was the Mars Cheese Castle, on the way from Milwaukee to Chicago. Truly, a castle dedicated to all things cheese! Lots of Wisconsin cheeses, TONS of summer sausages, and fun novelty cheese items. We picked up a few cheeses and I got a ridiculous cheese t-shirt (and a complimentary crown!).
So many things happened along this trip – on to Chicago!