National Cheese Day


Greetings, “fellow lovers of Fromage”
June 4th was national cheese day, which celebrates our “Raison d’être” and the source of our livelihood. Cheese Day takes place annualy across the red, white and blue continent. EVERYONE is an honorary Cheese Head for at least a day, no? Nonetheless, for Wisconsin it’s just a regular day since cheese is more than a staple at the local supermarket - it’s the basis of our economy. Wisconsin is known by all to be the home of cheese lovers and cheese makers alike. As you know, everyone is different so not all cheeses are created the same. Some cheeses are hard, and some are soft and ripened. Some are best served as is, while others are best melted on crackers accompanied by preserves or toasted nuts; drizzled with Balsamic vinegar, honey or shredded into our favorite recipe’s. The U.S. Milk market is big business and 90% of it goes to making cheese. You would have to sample six different kinds of cheese daily for a year to taste all of the existing cheeses available. With over 2000 varieties available, the U.S. is the biggest producer of cheese in the world. Americans also consume a lot of cheese yearly, nearly 34lbs per person which is the equivalent of eating over a ton of cheese in a lifetime “some of us more…” However the first place prize goes to the French, who consume 57lbs yearly. How do Americans consume the most cheese? The answer is pizza. Pizza made with Mozzarella, to be exact. Mozzarella is the biggest cheese variety sold in the U.S., closely followed by Cheddar. So the next time you are strolling through the supermarket aisles and shopping for your favorite cheese, think about the fact that your industry has been in existence for over 4000 years! No one really knows who first “cut the cheese” but historical artifacts explain how early Europeans received their knowledge from Asians. Finally, if you are part of the Winona family, one can assume you contribute your knowledge and passion in ushering in new cheeses, ideas, recipes, menu concepts plus many new creative ways to enjoy cheeses with spectacular pride. “Hmm”, writing about this made me a little hungry, so I will say goodbye for now and head to the kitchen to fix myself a grilled Sour Dough and fig preserve sandwich, with Winona Reserve aged White Cheddar.
Steve Diana