In America’s dairyland, it’s safe to say that cheese is sort of a religion here. Badgers take cheese so seriously that we invented the scale to grade it. There’s only one thing we love more than cheese — the cheeseboard. Why settle for just one cheese when you could have them all?
With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve assembled a mix of best tips + practices for sharing brie-liant locally sourced cheeseboards this season. These come from local mongers + fromagers to make boards that are truly cheesy on the eyes.
The more the merrier. There is quite literally nothing scarier than the thought of running out of cheese. An appropriate metric for purchasing cheese is 2 oz. of each selection per guest.
Mix it up. Though there would be truly nothing wrong with a board full of only curds, Wisconsin produces 600 types of cheese. Celebrate the state’s variety with different flavors, textures + colors.
Give it some flair. Cheese is the main character and we don’t want to steal its spotlight. Another key to a great board however is the accouterments. Locally produced meats, jams, crackers + other sweets help round out a grate board.
With a gouda foundation laid, let’s explore local shops + mongers to help supply our boards:
Fromagination | 12 S. Carroll St.
The shop celebrates Wisconsin’s cheese-making heritage with a belief that guests should fully experience their food — see, smell + taste cheese.
Pro tip: Fromagination has a cheese of the month subscription service that delivers artisan Wisconsin cheese directly to your door. A great last minute gift for a cheesehead in your life.
Wisconsin Cheese Mart | 119 State St.
Founded in 1938, the regional experts have 80+ years of experience curating the best cheeses Wisconsin has to offer.
Pro tip: For those worried about that one relative eating up the whole board, the shop carries full cheese wheels + loaves for those looking to buy in bulk.
Babcock Dairy Store | 1605 Linden Dr.
Located inside of Babcock Hall on the UW-Madison campus, the shop is run by the school’s agriculture department.
Pro tip: The dairy store also retails a series of accouterments including locally made meat products, condiments, crackers + more.
Northwoods Cheese Company | 2518 Advance Rd.
Regional cheese company + retailer with a focus on Wisconsin-made gifts — both edible and non-edible.
Pro tip: Northwoods Cheese sells pre-made cheese boards featuring a mix of dairy, meat + other products for those looking to save time.
Brennan’s Market | 8210 Watts Rd.
A Wisconsin specialty grocer celebrating local meats, cheeses, fruits + vegetables from regional farms.
Pro tip: Brennan’s features a classic ‘On Wisconsin’ cheese gift box perfect to send someone a taste of the midwest — shipping available anywhere in the US.
Landmark Creamery Provisions | 6895 Paoli Rd., Belleville
Local cheesemakers that work with farmers to build sustainable, family-run dairies that support the local economy in Southern Wisconsin.
Pro tip: The shop has a sheep milk fondue — the perfect way to kick off any holiday gathering.