By: Chef John Chapiewski, Russell County High School
This past week I got to experience the wonders of our nation’s dairyland: Wisconsin. I traveled the state and toured many dairy farms and cheese factories learning about the art of artisan cheese. I was totally blown away by the craftsmanship and creativity of some of these master cheese makers. I think what I liked even more is that most of these places have been and still are family owned passed down from generation to generation. I never got that “corporate machine” feel. The dairy cows were treated with respect and care, the employees were all known by name and not just an ID badge or number, and of course the final product was amazing.
I have a new love for cheese and the art that goes with making it. I must have sampled fifty plus cheeses while I was there and each one had a flavor profile and complexity all its own. Of course I did need a bran muffin each day for breakfast but that’s a different story altogether!!
So the next time you make mac and cheese add some gruyere to it. The next time you grill a burger melt some buttermilk blue on it. Or just snack on some fresh mozzarella, alpine, cheddar, aged white cheddar, provolone, bleu cheese, feta, well, you get the idea.
I want to leave you with a recipe I learned up there that makes a great parfait dessert or pie filling: Take one pound of mascarpone and add six ounces of melted chocolate and one ounce of kahlua. Mix well until everything is incorporated completely. Enjoy.
Until next time, God bless.