In many ways, the quality of ingredients defines the excellence of the chef. Increasingly, distinctive and discriminating chefs around the country are discovering the world of Wisconsin Cheese. Long known for iconic cheese curds and classics that include Cheddar and Swiss, Wisconsin is exciting the culinary world by leading a renaissance in cheesemaking that's producing a wealth of artisanal, ethnic and exceptional small-batch originals…the kind of cheeses that elevate a cheese course or signature dish.

Wisconsin's singular 160-year history of Old World techniques, carefully managed family dairy farms and a devotion to excellence continue to make the state a cheesemaking mecca, home to the most awarded cheeses and cheesemakers in the world. In Wisconsin, cheese is a way-of-life.

From fourth-generation Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook, who specializes in mixed-milk cheeses at Carr Valley Cheese Company, BelGioioso Cheese, maker of many Italian specialty cheeses, Wisconsin leads the way in quality, the development of innovative flavors, and wins more awards than any other state or nation. Marieke Penterman, a relative newcomer who came to Wisconsin from the Netherlands and immediately gained national prominence for her authentic raw milk and flavored Goudas, Wisconsin is setting the bar for the kinds of cheeses today's chefs demand.

Whether it's Queso Oaxaca or Crescenza-Stracchino or Les Frères®, Wisconsin Cheese speaks your language. Artisan and specialty cheeses continue to pace growth in Wisconsin with leaders such as Feta and Blue varieties. The number of cave-aged, washed-rind, farmstead and pasture-grazed cheeses grow each year. And Wisconsin cheesemakers and dairy farmers are leaders in the sustainability movement with practices they've longed believed in and new technologies that are protecting the environment.

To learn more about how Wisconsin Cheese can inspire your menu, visit the special foodservice section of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's website at

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