APRIL 9, 2019

Cookbook Review: Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook: Creamy, Cheesy, Sweet, and Savory Recipes from the State’s Best Creameries

Even a brief flip through the pages of Kristine Hansen’s new Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook (published by Globe Pequot, 2019) immediately reveals why the likes of Globe Pequot would choose to publish this book. The publisher “has been at the forefront of the movement to save local history for future generations…books about iconic brands and people, regional interest, history, lifestyle, cooking and food culture, and folklore – books that hit the intersection of a reader’s interest in specific place and their passion for a specific topic.” Really, in a nutshell, The Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook – beautifully and efficiently assembled – does precisely all of these things with the kind of passion for the regional mentioned.

At first glance, there’s no doubt that the cookbook could stand alone as a series of fantastic cheese-centric recipes, organized by creamery region in the state. The “Crave Brothers Mascarpone, Fig, Sweet Onion, and Candied Bacon Pizza” comes to mind as one that stands out. It is a unique selection not just because it is delicious and beautifully photographed, but the ingredients list includes the suggestion for the trademark mascarpone, which obviously gives the recipe that true local flavor. Another recipe, “Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish Havarti,” includes the suggestion for Roth Havarti, from the Emmi Roth Creamery, also from the southwest region.

But the Cheese Cookbook transcends other even more nuanced recipe collections and becomes a “State’s Best” cheese travel guide, taking us along for the ride to meet the owners of the creameries themselves, other purveyors and restaurants that use the products through a series of personal and historical profiles. All said, we come to reacquaint ourselves with long-standing traditions and a natively luscious terroir that makes Wisconsin the great cheese state that we all know it is, but maybe haven’t had the chance to celebrate in quite this way in a while.