"Proudly Wisconsin Cheese" sign surrounded by cheese stickers from makers and mongers

More from the road! Monger pals, giant cows, dairy expos, and roadside cheese castles!

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 🥰

Carrie talking about Wisconsin cheeses to Morgen
Carrie dropping some serious knowledge about Wisconsin cheeses
"Proudly Wisconsin Cheese" sign surrounded by cheese stickers from makers and mongers
Can you spot the Martha’s Vineyard Cheesery sticker?
Morgen and Alex smiling with their Deer Creek cheese
“The Night Walker” from Deer Creek – bandage-wrapped sweet finish Cheddar bathed in J. Henry Bourbon
Alex, Carrie, and Morgen in plaid shirts, in a plaid elevator
Plaid-clad cheese pals in a plaid-clad elevator! Carrie rocking the MV Cheesery hat!

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…”).

Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet and Sissy the cow statue
Hellooooo Sissy!
The cheese cases at Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet
Cheese on cheese on cheese!
Pumpkin Spice Cheddar at Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet
This one was a nope from me

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.

Livestock show at the World Dairy Expo
This was one of the many categories of the cattle show at the World Dairy Expo. Weird sidebar – I’ve actually been in this building before, in 2017 to watch the Crossfit Games. Very different type of spectating!
An exhibitor tent at the World Dairy Expo
An exhibitor tent at the World Dairy Expo – capital B, capital D, Big Dairy

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!).

The sign for Mars Cheese Castle
The sign for Mars Cheese Castle – beckoning us!
Mars Cheese Castle from the exterior
A very grand cheese castle indeed!
A t-shirt with three kittens and a moon made out of cheese
Have you ever seen a more perfect t-shirt? 😻
Morgen smiling wearing sunglasses and a paper crown, showing off the Mars Cheese Castle cooler bag
Cheesy treats from the Mars Cheese Castle!

So many things happened along this trip – on to Chicago!

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Grilled Cheese Night!

Thursday, November 16