Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eat Cheese or Die

“Live Like You Mean It” ? That's the slogan of the state of Wisconsin? I'm with op-ed writer Gail Collins (April 4, 2009) in the NYT on this one: "In 1985, Gov. Anthony Earl of Wisconsin decided 'America’s Dairyland' was boring and sponsored a contest for a new state slogan, which drew an avalanche of suggestions. A screening committee declined to consider the popular favorite: 'Eat Cheese or Die.' I truly believe that nothing has gone right for Wisconsin on the slogan front ever since."

Eat Cheese or Die. Now that's a slogan worthy of the dairy imperium. Here's another one for the next Wisconsin tourist season: Eat Cheese, Pray Hard, Love the Packers.

The Wisconsin Cheese Mart is on Old World Third St. in Milwaukee, not far from the riverwalk. We found it because Ann had to go to the bathroom, and the riverwalk itself is deficient that way. The Cheese Mart's web site tells us that "Wisconsin's cheese making industry produces 2 billion pounds of cheese every year, 30 percent of the nation's total cheese production. More than 250 varieties, types, and styles of cheese are available from Wisconsin's skilled cheese makers... We carry over 150 types of cheese in our display cases."

That's a lot of cheese. But we didn't buy any, as fine as some of those 150 cheeses must be. At moment there's excess cheese in our refrigerator, good stuff too, and cheese isn't something you can hoard. But we were thirsty enough to buy three bottles of Sprecher soda: Root Beer, Cream Soda and Orange Dream, products of a local microbrewery. We'd chanced across the root beer before elsewhere in Wisconsin, but not the others. All were satisfying, especially the cream soda.

Near the Cheese Mart's front door was a large collection of foam cheese headgear. The standard wedge of cheese -- which is trademarked as a Cheesehead® hats -- but also foam cheese top hats, sombreros, cowboy hats, fire helmets and more. Foam cheese headgear, I'm glad to report, was a Wisconsin creation.

Ann was particularly taken with the "cheesehead cornhead" hat. But we didn't buy her one. Maybe Santa Claus will.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home