Well, Wisconsin is movin' on up and finally getting a little respect in the press for our artisan cheeses.
First, there was the awesome "Push Comes to Chevre" article in last Sunday's New York Times T Magazine, announcing Wisconsin has joined the "United States of Arugula" by learning "the magic word artisanal."
The article highlights a half dozen of Wisconsin's most famous artisan cheesemakers of the "driftless" region, which author Christine Muhlke describes as "a long strip of land that the glaciers passed by during the ice age. The area’s deeply carved hills and river valleys make it better for pasturing animals than farming, and the limestone-lined hills impart a distinctive flavor to its milk and produce. If this were France, it would have an A.O.C. designation." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Then, word on the street has it that Wisconsin will be featured on two major television shows next week.
Jane Cisler of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association left me a voicemail yesterday, saying she's headed to New York to attend a taping of the Martha Stewart show on Thursday, April 10 where the World Championship Cheese, a Swiss Gruyere crafted by Michael Spycher, will be tasted live by Martha. The cheese was crowned on March 13 in Madison, Wis., at the World Championship Cheese Contest, so we're hoping Wisconsin gets a plug or two on her show.
And then, I got a most exciting email yesterday from Debbie Crave of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, who casually mentions that the Crave dairy farm, its farmstead cheese factory and on site manure digester will be featured on the April 10 NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams at 5:30 p.m. CST. Debbie says: "It’s a segment called, “Making a Difference”. Hope you can catch it."
Yes ma'am, I will definitely be setting my Tivo for Thursday's viewings of Martha and NBC News. It's not often Wisconsin is highlighted in two national shows on the same day.
Whoo-hoo! We finally got a piece of the pie.