People from Wisconsin will put cheese on anything. We eat cheese that’s from cows or goats or sheep, that is new or well-aged, that has been wrapped in cloth or covered in wax. Wisconsinites (a.k.a. “Cheese heads”) will batter and deep fry it, grill it, put it on sticks, add it to pizza, and serve it with apple pie. Most every restaurant entree comes with a bit of cheese on top. We even make beer and cheese soup.
So, it’s natural that Wisconsin would have cheese in bread, right? Stella’s bakery has been a fixture at the Dane County Farmer’s Market since 1987 serving up beautiful loaves of cheese bread still warm from the oven. According to myth, the hot & spicy cheese bread was supposed to be an empanada, a Mexican filled pastry. Walking around the market, its hard not to notice how EVERYBODY is walking around with a clear plastic bag with a red logo, and a hunk of bread inside. People tear off a piece from the loaf and eat it while walking. There’s no fancy “slicing” going on… Portable and walkable cheese bread.
You didn’t know that? Yeah, neither did I, until I had the squeakyness explained…
Thanks to Joe Dobosy and Mich Minoura for explaining squeaky cheese curds, to Hook’s Creamery for jalapino cheese curds, and to Carl Geissbuhler of Brunkow Cheese for explaining why cheese curds are squeaky.
For your viewing pleasure, I shot and edited some video of the Dane County Farmer’s Market (DCFM) while we were at our vacation in Madison. I wanted to give everybody a sense of what an insanely huge Farmer’s Market goes on every Saturday in Madison.
For size comparison, I’ve taken two Google Map images of the permanent site of the Norwich Farmer’s Market, our regular market here in Vermont, and an image of the DCFM, highlighting in red the streets that are lined with vendors.
Dane County Farmer’s Market takes up 8 city blocks around the Capitol Square in Madison.
The Norwich Farmer’s Market occupies a permanent space.
This is as local as it gets, folks… Mom’s garden peas.
We’re back from Wisconsin. You can look forward to a LOT of wonderful posts about local eating in Wisconsin. I also took over an hour of video at the Saturday Dane County Farmer’s Market on cheese curds, hot spicy cheesy bread, and the market itself. I hope to post videos over the next two weeks.
I did come across this piece from my RSS feeds and though y’all might like to read about the State of the CSA from Modern Farmer.
“Everyone who is helping develop marketing channels that keep local farms in business deserves a place at the table. It’s just important to recognize that these are businesses, not community-run projects or social ventures,” said Just Food’s Berger. “CSA provides a greater social benefit for the broader community.”
I’m looking forward to going to Penzey’s spices while we’re back home in Madison. We’ve run out of awful lot of things and had to buy subpar quality spices from the co-op. They try to keep good spices in stock, but there’s only so much turnover on things like ground cardamom or whole nutmegs.