Wisconsin Cheese is the term used for cheese manufactured in Wisconsin, America. Wisconsin has been producing cheese since 160+ years, and specializes in cheese making of more than 600 varieties. These cheeses are used in a large number of Wisconsin cheese recipes. Wisconsin is home to cheese classics like cheddar and Colby, and also America’s leader in specialty and artisan cheese making.
Wisconsin’s cheese making history has its roots in prehistoric times. It has the natural landscape of rolling hills and lush pasturelands, perfect for dairy farming.
Wisconsintoday has approximately 13,000 dairy farms and has a reputation of producing quality milk and cheese. Approximately 90 percent of the milk produced is used for Wisconsin cheese making. They are licensed after following strict guidelines about education in dairy science in Wisconsin cheese making.
Preparing Wisconsin Cheese
Preparation of the Cheese involves the following steps:
- Procuring Milk - To produce good quality cheese, milk should also be of high quality. The incoming milk is first tested for its quality and purity. It takes approximately 10 pounds milk to produce 1 pound milk.
- Milk Treatment - The milk is treated by heating and pasteurizing to maintain cheese quality.
- Adding Culture & Coagulant -Good bacteria used for cheese making, called starter cultures, are added to the milk. Then rennet (a coagulating agent) is added. The milk coagulates to a custard like mass.
- Cutting -The custard like milk is cut into small pieces, to help in separating the liquid (whey) from the milk solid (curds). Large curds yield softer cheeses and small curds yield harder varieties.
- Heating and Stirring -The curds are cooked to the desired temperature and the whey is drained off.
- Cheese making-The curd is transformed into cheese by different handling techniques and salting.
- Pressing-The cheese is pressed for 3 to 12 hours (depending upon kind of cheese being prepared), to produce the final product.
- Curing - The Wisconsin cheese is aged at required humidity and temperature for up to 10 years in case of preparation of aged Wisconsin cheese.
Wisconsin Cheese Recipes
Wisconsin cheese recipes can be as varied as the cheese itself. Here are some of the most popular Wisconsin cheese recipes-
- Cranberry Pecan Loaf with Wisconsin Cheddar- This is made with flour, eggs, sugar, oats cinnamon, pecans and cranberries and Wisconsin Cheddar cheese.
- Turkey Burgers with Wisconsin Aged Asiago Cheese- These are burgers with ground turkey, spices and Aged Asiago cheese from Wisconsin in both grated and sliced form.
- WisconsinCheese Cakes: These are made with eggs, cheese, vanilla flavoring, butter, sugar and flour.