Monday, July 17, 2006

On the Road Again

Couldn't fit in all the news about our artisans in Sheboygan County on the last post, so wanted to tell you about Henning's Cheese in Kiel, Wisconsin.

As you drive through the northern reaches of Sheboygan County, you'll start to watch farm after farm roll by. This area was settled by waves of German, Dutch and Irish immigrants in the mid-19th century. They worked the land, raising crops that started with wheat and then turned to dairying. Cheesemaking reigns in this area, with the very first two Wisconsin cheesemakers hailing from within 30 miles of each other.

By 1875, Sheboygan County had 45 cheese factories producing over 2 million pounds of cheese. One of the oldest factories still remaining is
Henning's Cheese in Kiel. As their sign denotes, this is a place where you can get Cheddar -- GREAT Cheddar, that is. Henning's Cheese is a 4th generation cheese plant known for their mammoth cheddar wheels, cheddar gems, natural aged cheddars... (all pictured above) and of course cheddar cheese curds. Cheesemaker Kerry Henning has also won awards for his Colby.

If you find your way to this out-of-the-way plant, know that it will be well worth your journey. And be sure to check out their "Cooked Cheese" (aka "Koch Kase") and ask about their "Old German," a stinky cheese they keep in back!