Friday, May 04, 2007

Tasting Spring

Ever wonder what Spring tastes like? Saturday is your chance to find out.

As Wisconsin continues to differentiate itself in its quest to lead a national artisan cheese renaissance, a new group of cheesemakers is emerging: those who craft seasonal cheeses from grass-based milk.

On Saturday, May 5, the public will have a chance to personally meet at least two artisan cheesemakers who specialize in this craft. The event will be hosted at the Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N Water St., Milwaukee, Wis., from 2 - 5 p.m.

The best part: it's free and samples will be included!

Here's who will be there:

  • Mike Gingrich, Uplands Cheese, Dodgeville, Wis. Gingrich crafts only one cheese: Pleasant Ridge Reserve -- an artisanal farmstead cheese made in the style and tradition of mountain cheeses from the alpine regions of France. Awarded Best of Show at the 2005 & 2001 American Cheese Society contest, and as the 2003 U.S. Champion, it is the only cheese to ever win both national competitions.

  • Brenda Jensen, Hidden Springs Creamery, Westby, Wis. The Jensen farmstead is a Grade A sheep dairy, producing fresh handmade and hand-packed "Driftless" sheep's milk cheese. Sheep graze seasonally in the heart of the unglaciated Coulee region, resulting in rich and creamy - almost dreamy - cheese. In her first-ever showing at the United States Championship Cheese contest last month, Jensen captured three medals, including a prestigious Best of Class Gold Medal for her fresh "Driftless" cheese.

  • Cedar Grove Cheese, Plain, Wis. Cedar Grove traces its beginnings to 1878 and today crafts a variety of organic and specialty cheeses using only vegetarian, GMO-free ingredients. A variety of Cedar Grove's pasture-based cheeses will be available for sampling.

A short program introducing each cheesemaker and his or her cheeses will kick off the event at 2 p.m. Samples will be available all afternoon.

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