Every little cheese curd dreams of ending up as a Wisconsin cheese. They dream of getting pressed, molded, and aged for months into an award-winning Wisconsin parmesan, or getting funky as they ferment into a Wisconsin blue. Some starry-eyed little curds want to hit the big time as part of a championship gouda, while others are just fine knowing their destiny is as unassuming but wildly popular Wisconsin cheese curds or as a melted monterey jack in a classic macaroni and cheese dish.
The point is, no matter what Wisconsin cheese variety they aspire to, these curds all realize the same thing: becoming a Wisconsin cheese means they'll reach the top of the world cheese mountain as the tastiest, most award-winning, highest-quality cheese on earth. And what little cheese curd wouldn't want that?
Cheesemakers in Wisconsin have been making cheese for more than 175 years, since before Wisconsin was even the state. Our fertile dairyland attracted immigrant cheesemakers from all over Europe – Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France, Italy, and Scandinavia making Wisconsin true melting pot of cheesemaking. The first commercial cheese factory was established in 1841, and a century later Wisconsin was home to more than 1,500 cheese factories producing more than 500 million pounds of cheese each year.
When this high-quality product is put in the hands of our 1,200 skilled and knowledgeable Wisconsin cheesemakers, the result is nothing less than award-winning. From European style cheeses to Wisconsin originals like brick and colby to Mexican style cheeses like oaxaca, queso fresco, and cotija cheese, our cheesemakers are constantly expanding the boundaries of what cheese can be.
While Wisconsin cheese has benefited from the traditions of the European cheesemakers who settled here, we've produced a fair number of original Wisconsin cheese as well.
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It truly doesn't get any better than Wisconsin cheese. That's because we're dang serious about cheese in these parts. You must have a license to make cheese in Wisconsin – it's hard to believe we're the only state in the nation that does, but there you go. We're also the only state – and the only country, for that matter, outside Switzerland – that has a master cheesemaker program. Which means every master cheesemaker in America has called Wisconsin home at some point.
The question is — what happens when a whole state is dedicated to making the tastiest, highest quality cheese in the universe? Well, you win awards, for one thing. Like, 5,552 of them. You also win fans – people everywhere are fanatical about Wisconsin cheese.
So, next time you're picking up some cheese for an elegant charcuterie plate, a classic baked mac and cheese recipe, or for a grilled ham and cheese panini, just make sure it has a Proudly Wisconsin Cheese ™ badge on the label. (And be sure to congratulate your cheese on having made it to the top.)
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.