Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wisconsin Longhorn Cheese

Wisconsin Longhorn is a sort of national standard, even though it's not nearly so fancy or high-priced as some of the regional natives that can't approach its enormous output. It's one of those all-purpose round cheeses that even taste round in your mouth. We are specially partial to it.

Most Cheddars are named after their states. Yet, putting all of these thirty-seven states together, they produce only about half as much as Wisconsin alone.

Besides Longhorn, in Wisconsin there are a dozen regional competitors ranging from White Twin Cheddar, to which no annatto coloring has been added, through Green Bay cheese to Wisconsin Redskin and Martha Washington Aged, proudly set forth by P.H. Kasper of Bear Creek, who is said to have "won more prizes in forty years than any ten cheesemakers put together."

To help guarantee a market for all this excellent apple-pie cheese, the Wisconsin State Legislature made a law about it. Small matter in the Badger State when the affinity is made legal and the couple lawfully wedded in Statute No. 160,065. It's still in force:

Butter and cheese to be served. Every person, firm or corporation duly licensed to operate a hotel or restaurant shall serve with each meal for which a charge of twenty-five cents or more is made, at least two-thirds of an ounce of Wisconsin butter and two-thirds of an ounce of Wisconsin cheese.

Besides Longhorn, Wisconsin leads in Limburger. It produces so much Swiss that the state is sometimes called Swissconsin.

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