"Wisconsin" United States of America Things to Do Tip by traveldave
United States of America Things to Do: 953 reviews and 1,331 photos
Nickname: Badger State; Land Area: 54,314 square miles (140,700 square kilometers); Population: 5,686,986; Capital: Madison; Largest City: Milwaukee
This tip is not about any restaurants, but rather the numerous roadside cheese shops that are common throughout the state. There are hundreds of small shops that offer many varieties of Wisconsin cheese, as well as curds (a popular snack in Wisconsin), sausages, Wisconsin maple syrup, souvenirs of Wisconsin, and other locally produced products.
Wisconsin has a long history of producing quality cheese. There has always been an important dairy industry in the state (Wisconsin's motto is, after all, "America's Dairyland"), and cheese production has been a significant factor in the state's dairy industry. Nowadays, Wisconsin produces 35 percent of all the cheese made in the United States. The state has around 13,000 dairy farms and 1,260,000 milk cows. Ninety percent of the milk produced by those cows goes into the production of cheese.
Wisconsin's first cheese factory opened in 1841. By 1922, there were an estimated 2,800 cheese factories in the state. And in 1921, Wisconsin became the first state to grade its cheese for quality.
Although there are not as many cheese factories nowadays as in the early twentieth century, Wisconsin still has about 60 artisan cheese makers that produce over 600 varieties of cheese. Most of these cheese makers welcome visitors.
Many visitors' centers have pamphlets highlighting "Cheese Trails" that visitors can follow to visit cheese makers and some of the small roadside shops.
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