Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Belle of the Ball

A new Wisconsin artisan cheese has captured the Chicago media spotlight this summer. That's because you're more likely to find the new Fayette Creamery line of English cheeses in Chicago's Green City Market or Oak Park Market than you currently are in Wisconsin (hopefully that will change soon).

Brunkow Cheese - located in tiny Fayette, Wisconsin - has been crafting commodity-style cheeses for over 100 years. Their cheddar, monterey jack and colby have been staples at dinner tables, potlucks, weddings and funerals in southwest Wisconsin for generations. But now, creamery operators Karl & Mary Geissbuhler are launching into the Wisconsin artisan cheese with full force, launching a new brand, hand crafting three English-style cheeses and using Chicago as their test market this summer.

I have to admit that I have not yet tried these cheeses - I'm still trying to get my hands on a sample - but if the Chicago Tribune and Timeout Chicago can be believed, these English-style, cheddarish cheeses are the hottest thing to hit that city's farmers' markets in years. It doesn't hurt that the cheeses are absolutely beautiful and the labels are professionally designed. Their names also stoke the imagination: “Argylshire” is a cloth-wrapped cheddar and “Little Darling” is a miniwheel perfect for your next picnic. Timeout Chicago says these cheeses are "as full of flavor as they are in mold."

Don't know about you, but makes me want to take a road trip to Chicago.