I was born amongst the skyscraping cornfields of the Midwest – veritable home to all-beef hot dogs, a giant silver bean, lots and lots of lakes, chainsmoking and some of the best cheese in all the land, thanks to the charismatic cows of Wisconsin.
My sister recently visited Wisconsin on her way to see my Grandma who lives in Minnesota, and she bought several varieties of cheese – cheddar, colby, colby jack, and monterey jack. (I didn’t know there was a type actually called Colby!) Instead of ravenously devouring them bite by bite as I would have done, holed off into the airplane bathroom gnawing on a hunk of Jack, she diligently held onto it in preparation for her first annual “Cheese Off”. (Just kidding about the airplane bathroom – as if I’d bring anything edible in there! YUCK!)
You Californians know that California has a thing about cheese, too. While our state can’t tout football fans who actually wear wedges on their heads, we do have “happy cows” who bear toothy, cud-eating grins as they make magical milk which will later be turned into cheese. (Somebody speculated that they were “happy cows” because instead of eating grass, they eat GRASS. You know, the kind of grass that makes you crave cookie dough.) But, being the good old-fashioned corn-fed Midwestern girl that my sister is, she decided to let the taste buds decide who would claim victory as the CHEESE KING.
She cut all of the cheese into little chunks on separate plates, and my family, in-laws and best friend were all instructed to taste them one after the other (Cal Colby VS Wisconsin Colby) and vote. She marked our results down on a whiteboard, and at the end, WISCONSIN was named the Cheese King (but not by much)!
Now – several people have cried foul about the way the test was conducted, as my husband says the California Cheddar was “Cheap cheddar, not representative of California”, and the purchase of this “cheap cheddar” could have been “a subconcious attempt to sway voters to the Midwest.” I personally wondered if the Wisconsin cheese was not as fresh as the California cheese, given that it had traveled eight hours by plane and lived in the fridge for awhile, which may have explained its meager win.
Apparently when my sister purchased the Wisconsin cheese, she explained what she intended to do with it to the store clerk. The clerk, no doubt a genius in my mind, had only this to say in the response: “Why does California want the best cheese, too? They have the best everything. So let us have the best cheese, damnit! You have it all!”
We’re letting you have it, Wisconsin. Your cheese wins.