DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – January 20 is not just Inauguration Day, it also is National Cheese Lover’s Day.
It’s safe to say no one celebrates the cheesy holiday quite like Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland.
Cheesemaking dates all the way back to the Roman Empire. It thrived in Europe and the Middle East before European immigrants introduced cheesemaking to North and South America, according to the National Historic Cheesemaking Center.
Now, two local cheese shops are busy gearing up for the big day. Scray Cheese in De Pere, one of the few remaining cheese factories in the Green Bay area, opened in 1924. The family business, now passing down the art of cheesemaking to the 4th generation is known for its award-winning smoked gouda and of course, their fresh cheese curds. The artisan cheese shop prides itself on making cheese the same way it did nearly 100 years ago.
“There used to be 100 cheese factories in Brown County. Now we are the only ones left. I think a lot of people want to come here, because we’ve been around since 1924 and we’ve been making cheese the same. I think people like the authenticity of making cheese by hand,” says Kayla Scray.
If you’ve ever wondered how much milk a cheese shop needs to make a month’s worth of cheese, it might blow your mind.
“We purchase a million pounds of milk per month which makes 100,000 pounds of cheese,” says Scray.
The shop makes about 1.2 million pounds of cheese a year. For National Cheese Lover’s day, they are offering customers a special deal on their fresh cheese curds.
Renard’s cheese shop in Sturgeon Bay, has been a staple of Door County for three generations.
This year, they are making every effort on this national holiday. One lucky cheese connoisseur will walk away with a big prize. The family-owned and operated business is running a contest fit for a cheese-lover. The contest winner will receive their exclusive Cheese Lover’s Date Night gift box, which includes their award-winning cheeses including Farmers with Pesto, their signature homemade fudge and more.
“We thought of featuring this gift box for National Cheese Lover’s Day and also Valentine’s Day. It’s especially different, because it comes with a little cute menu, two recipe cards and some of the ingredients that we have in this box you can actually make these two recipes from,” says Franca Bueno, Director of Sales and Public Relations at Renard’s Cheese.
Bueno believes it’s important for people to support local businesses not only on national holidays, but year-round, because the outcome is beneficial to the entire community.
“It becomes circular. If you keep it local, it just makes the economy and your county or city grow that much stronger,” says Bueno.
Whether it is cheddar, gouda or fontina, you decide to indulge in on this cheesy holiday, you can’t go wrong with having a slice of Wisconsin Cheese on National Cheese Lover’s Day.