Wisconsin has a rolling heart of the country beauty. Living near the city we often forget how wide and bountiful the US is. Although on climbs there is often only one thought in mind, the next pedal stroke, I find cycling a good place to work on poems. It can be a solitary moving meditation, a place to pray.
After three days on the road, a stay at a legendary bad motel “Ikes”, and a thirty mile stretch of rolling hills, a glass of New Glarus Old Milwaukee Belgian Red hits the spot. Hunger may be the best sauce, but this Lambic like brew which tasted of cherries is the single best beer I have known.
One of the joys of driving ‘cross country is all the little places one can find along the way. Just a bit off route 90 in Wisconsin in the town of Mauston is Carr Valley Cheese.
When one finds an artisan vintner, or cheesemaker, or restaurant the trips there are always a delight. In the little store alongside the factory we sampled an aged chedder that was fabulous, and then a wonderful cocoa cardona ( a goat cheese which has the rind rubbed with cocoa powder. ) We took one of each, and then some other goat and sheep cheeses to try. One we chose, an aged Marisa ( sheep cheese from Wisconsin sheep ) sounds especially interesting, I hope to compare it with Manchego, the Spanish sheep cheese that I consider the prince of cheeses.
The above is a sampling, with cheese curds for last. These little cheese pieces have a salty cheddar flavor and make the most delightful squeak with each chew. The squeak lasts while they are fresh, and it makes them as fun to eat as delightful to taste.
After all, a couple cheese curds provide food for thought as one considers the sculpture in South Dakota.
If you can’t get to Wisconsin, Carr Valley sells here: Carr Valley Cheese