Git your grill on!

Labor Day weekend.  It’s the start of high school, college and professional football season.  Cities all across Wisconsin have the dedication and verve to attend their home town high school football games on Friday nights.  And Saturday the college teams from UW Whitewater to UW La Crosse  and of course the University of Wisconsin Madison Badgers engage in gridiron battles.  On Sunday (usually) the Title Town Green Bay Packers carry on the historic honor of the only community owned team in the NFL.

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Pre-game tailgating

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Liquid refreshments

Well a large part of all these fans traditions relates to the fine art of “tailgating.”  Hours before the game actually begins fans gather in parking lots, parks and homes to eat, share the excitement and prepare for the game. The coolers full of various beverages, the dips and chips, the veggies and fruit with assorted dips and of course the mandatory burned meat.  Mostly sausages and hamburgers but occasionally steaks, fish, chicken and more.  

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gilling up some burgers and dogs

Many visitors to Wisconsin find specific meats that become favorites but are not available in their home markets.  Ethic specialties and unique preparations that they miss and wish were available.  Folks, who lived in Wisconsin, went to school in Wisconsin or vacationed in Wisconsin need to access these special meats for their tailgating parties.

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Smoke Salmon sampler

 Wisconsinmade.com to the rescue!  

Wisconsinmade has a broad selection of grilling meats from a large variety – brats to hamburgers, steaks and smoked fish.  And relishes, sauces, pickles, mustard, rubs, mushrooms and all the “fixings” can be delivered right to your door, even if you live in a place that doesn’t understand the tailgating tradition.

So….. fire up that computer, order all your fondest memories of the best tailgating treats from Wisconsinmade.com and then on that special evening (Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) Fire up the grill and get your game on!

On Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Supper Clubs

A long tradition in Wisconsin is a unique version of the dining out experience.  They are called “Supper Clubs.”   They focus on the evening meal which in Wisconsin is called “supper.”  Others call it dinner, but here it is supper.  And these restaurants are not “clubs” per se but rather gathering places for good food, good atmosphere at a reasonable price.

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Relish tray

The most traditional version starts the meal with a relish tray that would include fresh carrots, celery, olives and pickles.  It wuld be accompanied by a basket of cellophane wrapped crackers and a dish of soft spreadable cheese.  You dinner selection would include a salad, normally a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce and a selection of dressings.

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Friday night fish fry

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Prime Rib dinner

On Friday nights the special would be a deep fried fish, usually cod, and French fried potatoes with a side order of cold slaw.  Wednesdays and Saturdays the feature would be a slice of prime rib.  Petite, queen or king size?  And how would you like that done?  The chef recommends medium rare.  Dessert was optional but usually included some specialty of the house.

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Ishnala dining room

We recently had the opportunity to dine at a fine example of this tradition – Ishnala- just outside Wisconsin Dells overlooking beautiful Mirror Lake.

Summer evenings are delightful in Wisconsin and they are made even better with trip to your favorite supper club.  There many scattered throughout the state and they attract locals and visitors alike.

Wisconsinmade.com has a book about them you can use as a guide.5943-the-supper-club-book-Supper-Club (1)  How long would it take to visit each one?

Which is your favorite Wisconsin Supper Club?

Wisconsin’s Pickled Pride

Prior to the development of modern refrigeration many foods were preserved for later use by the process of pickling.  Most are familiar with dill pickles, pickled beets and sweet pickles.  The process is used to preserve many other gourmet foods as well.

Wisconsin is home to one of the most experienced and best pickled product producers in the country.   And Wisconsinmade.com is proud to partner with this five generation family producer of these quality products.  Here is their description of the products you can find on Wisconsinmade.com:

Bay View line-of-products

Pickled products available on Wisconsinmade.com

HERRING PRODUCTS

Only the finest imported herring in the world is used: wild caught herring from the North Atlantic seas. Only Grade A fillets meet our exceptionally high standards. This herring is processed by master food processors with years of hands on experience. Our herring is second to none!  Due to seasonal shipping precautions our herring products only ship in the cooler months beginning October 1.

Herring Party Bites in Wine Sauce – Made with our special sweet/sour brine with a splash of wine and fresh sliced onions. Party bites refers to the uniform, large, cracker size pieces.

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Pickled herring roll mops

Herring Party Bites in Sour Cream – We start with our same great herring fillets and add our pure sour cream sauce, with no buttermilk or extenders. Our jars are pure white and blended by hand to perfection, not machine mixed. Our process makes for a unique flavor of sweet cream and delicious herring.

Herring Rollmops in Wine Sauce – We take uncut Grade A herring fillets and wrap them around a spiced, dill pickle. Held together with toothpicks, we then hand slice and place pack these rollmops in jars for a great looking pack. This is an old world quality product that is hard to find.

OTHER PICKLED PRODUCTS

Pickled, Smoked, Polish Sausage – We start with the finest cuts of beef and pork for a perfect blend of flavor, with a deep smoke coloring. We use Byron Liebner’s original sausage recipe made specifically for pickling and long shelf life without becoming soft and mushy. Uniform in size, our blend of spices and brine enhance the flavor.

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Pickled Polish Sausage

Pickled, Smoked, Red Hot Polish Sausage – We use our famous recipe polish sausage and turn up the heat. This product has a large following throughout the country. If you like things hot and spicy, this is the pickled sausage for you.

Pickled Pork Hocks – This is our number one item! We start with a full pork shoulder and center cut these to give us the meatiest and leanest hocks sold anywhere today. The hocks are hand sliced, trimmed, and packed. You will not find another product like it.

Pickled Turkey Gizzards – We begin with solid, dark, turkey meat, rich in flavor. We cook these until tender, then hand trim and pack them for a wonderful pickled delicacy, packed in our flavorful spiced pickling brine for just the right taste. We separate the large gizzards for sale by the piece in the taverns, and the smaller ones are packed in the retail size jars.

Pickled Bologna – Bay View Brand pickled, smoked, bologna, is a skinless, finely ground German knackwurst. Pickled and seasoned with natural spices and a touch of garlic to create a great tasting meat snack. The bologna is cut into uniform pieces for easy snacking. This bologna uses the finest cuts of beef and pork, to keep its firmness in brine for many months.

PICKLED EGG PRODUCTS

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Pickled hard boiled eggs

Pickled Eggs, Original Flavor  Our best selling egg and the one that has stood the test of time. We use Grade A large eggs, cooked to perfection and perfectly peeled. We sort all our eggs, and take out broken eggs that would cloud or ruin our brines. We add our specially spiced vinegar brine for a delicious, low carb, healthy treat.

Garlic and Onion Pickled Eggs – In honor of our founder, Bruno Liebner, Reinhard developed this special blend of garlic and onion flavoring to make a very unique tasting pickled egg. Grandpa Bruno’s Old Fashioned Garlic and Onion Pickled Eggs are the newest addition to our line of pickled eggs. They continue to increase in popularity all across the country.

Red Hot Pickled Eggs – We take our pickled eggs to another level by turning up the heat. We add mustard seed, red chili peppers, and our secret hot spices that combine for a flavor explosion. Try these with your favorite hot mustard, and turn them into “evil eggs” if you dare!

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Bloddy Mary mix gift box

The old world pickled food tradition continues to be available for your enjoyment.  Also available on Wisconsinmade.com are pickled asparagus spears, green beans, a vegetable sampler and a Bloody Mary mix kit that contains seven pickled accessories and a bottle of Mix to fix an extravagant Bloody Mary.

The old world and Scandinavian traditions are part of Wisconsin’s heritage.  These products are part of the reason we offer “Products made with Pride and Passion by the Artisans of Wisconsin” on Wisconsinmade.com.

What is your favorite pickled treat?

Bacon On A Stick!

4C_WSF_stacked_datedThe Wisconsin State Fair is underway with all the treats and attractions you can imagine.

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A wisconsin State Fair Cream Puff pastry

There is of course the world famous Cream Puffs.  As you move through the line you can observe the production process as it happens.

Of course there are brats and beer.   But there is also a large selection of more exotic foods.  Shark bites and alligator bites are two of them.

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Alligator bites

And how about those items that are “on a stick?” Ok, so here are a few:

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Chocolate covered cranberries on a stick

chocolate bacon on a stick

Chocolate covered bacon on a stick

cheesecake on a stick

cheesecake on a stick

Something for everyone!

How about deep fried bacon wrapped tater tots on a stick!

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“Lug Nuts” – bacon wrapped tater tots

The winners in the annual Wisconsin State Fair meats competition have been announced.  Congratulatins to Tim Haen of Haen Meat Packing in Kaukauna for his first place bacon and another first place for his Jalapeno Cheese Summer Sausage.

It seems everyone agrees that if it has bacon – it’s better.  Wisconsinmade.com agrees and includes a smoked bacon sampler and more from Jones Dairy.  One pound of each – cheerywood smoked and hickory smoked bacon.  Yum!

The Wisconsin State Fair is a wonderful day of fun and treats for all.  If you are in the Milwaukee area in early August plan to spend a day here.  If you can’t make it, many of the fine items Made with Pride and Passion by the Artisans of Wisconsin are available on Wisconsinmade.com.

Wisconsin State Fair 2015

The Wisconsin State Fair for 2015 runs from Thursday August 6th through Sunday August 16th. 4C_WSF_stacked_datedThe fair features large varieties of food, traditional rides and games and judging of animals, food products, crafts and art.  Wisconsin’s artisan cheesemakers and meat producers products are carefully judged and awarded ribbons for their quality products.

The results of the Cheese contest have been released. Congratulations to all the winning cheesemakers at the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair competition. This year there were 372 entrees in 28 classes from 146 Wisconsin cheesemakers.   The top three cheeses in each category received awards.  cheese-grouping-WMMB-cheese-infoThe 2015 Grand Master Cheesemaker will be named and recognized along with the other winning cheesemakers at the Blue Ribbon Cheese and Butter Auction August 13 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.  blue ribbonThe winning cheeses will be auctioned off with the proceeds used to support scholarships for students pursuing dairy related degrees and in support of other milk marketing efforts.

A number of the cheesemakers that have won awards in the annual Wisconsin State Fair competition for 2015 have their company’s cheeses available on Wisconsinmade.com.  Many or these softer cheeses only ship in the cooler months, starting Oct. 1.

Winning cheesemakers that have cheeses seasonably available on Wisconsinmade.om are:

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Gary Grossen

Gary Grossen Master Cheesemaker at the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant on the University of Wisconsin –Madison campus won for his Brick cheese Class 05 Brick, Muenster – First Place.  Gary explains his cheese making process.  Babcock cheese is available seasonally on Wisconsinmade.com

Chad Duhal from Zimmerman Cheese in South Wayne, Wisconsin – Third Place Class 05 Brick, Muenster for his Muenster Cheese

Steve Stettler Master Cheesemaker from Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, Wisconsin took third place in Class 10 Flavored Pepper Cheese  for his Pepper Havarti cheese. He also took second Place in Class 20 Havarti (unflavored) for his Havarti cheese.  Decatur cheeses are available seasonally on Wisconsinmade.com

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Marieke Penterman

Marieke Penterman from Holland’s Family Cheese in Thorp, Wisconsin took third place in Class 12 Flavored Semi-Soft cheese – for Marieke Burning Melange Gouda.  Marieke also won second place in Class 22 Open Class for Semi-Soft Cheese (unflavored) for the Marieke Golden cheese.  A selection of Marieke cheese gifts are available on Wisconsinmade.com

Wally Hartwig from Zimmerman Cheese in South Wayne, Wisconsin took first place Class 13 Smoked Cheese – for Smoked Brick. 

Other Wisconsin State Fair award winning cheesemaker partners of Wisconsinmade.com include Emmi Roth USA, Pine River Cheese and Carr Valley Cheese.

Wisconsin artisans produce a broad variety of cheeses that continue to be recognized by judges and customers for superior quality.  Congratulations to all the winning artisan cheesemakers!

Wisconsin’s summer picnic

Summer in Wisconsin provides beautiful days that are just about perfect.  Temperatures in the 70’s, blue skies, light breeze – perfect for an outdoor picnic.

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Wisconsin Capitol building in Spring

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Evening sunset reflected on one wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol during a Concert on the Square

Many cities in Wisconsin host summer evening outings that involve music, food and a general picnic atmosphere.  Madison residents have organized a “group picnic” called Concerts on the Square.  The Square in this reference is the Capitol Square, a block in downtown Madison centered by the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building.  Thanks to many generous sponsors and individual voluntary contributions for six Wednesday evenings each summer the  Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plays a free concert on the steps at one corner of the building while thousands of folks sit on blankets and folding chairs, enjoy the music and a picnic.  There are food and beverage vendors to provide a selection of local picnic fare, or many bring their own picnic baskets.  Upwards of 25, 000 people show up for this community picnic each week.

Each concert has a “theme” and usually a guest performer joins the orchestra.  A recent presentation featured songs from the rock group The Eagles performed by members of Jeans ‘n Classics, a Canadian group that melds popular music with orchestras.  They also did a nice version of Bolero on July 15, 2015.

If you are near Madison in the summer don’t miss the Wisconsin made picnic Concerts on the Square.

Authentic Brats

Are your Bratwurst “Authentic”?

It’s grilling season here in Wisconsin.  All summer long and well into the fall football tailgating season we grill things.  Steaks, fish, vegi’s, pizza and of course the sausages known as bratwurst.  But is there only one “authentic” bratwurst?  The debate rages on here in Wisconsin.  Smoked, precooked or fresh?  Boiled in beer before you grill them or put them right on the grill?  But those of us who do not sweat the small stuff enjoy a grand variety of brats.  The texture of the meat varies from a course grind to a finer version similar to that found in hot dogs.  The flavors vary from mild to spicy.  The meats included have various combinations of pork, beef, veal and chicken.  Then some meat artisans add cheeses, mushrooms, apple, cherries or other complimentary items.

Wisconsin hosts a large German Fest in Milwaukee this coming weekend July 24 through July 26 where there will be tons of brats consumed.  This is their 35 year of celebrating all things German – food (brats!), history, music, traditions and more.

The city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin claims to be the center of the bratwurst world and many meat artisans make a version of brats they call “Sheboygan brats.”  But there are many additional varieties available.  See the broad selection of brats offered on Wisconsinmade.com

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Nurnberger bratwurstSee

The Nurnburger brat has a narrow diameter (about like your little finger) slightly longer version made famous in Nurenburg, Germany.

 

 

 

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Bacon cheddar bratwurst

 

The bacon cheddar brat adds two of Wisconsin’s favorites to the sausage

 

 

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University of Wisconsin Union Terrace brat

The University of Wisconsin Union Terrace brats are the ones served on the lakeside terrace on the Madison campus.

 

 

 

 

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Sausage sampler pack

If you are adventurous and would like to try a few versions the sampler packs give the chance to experiment with a variety of tastes.

All of these delicious brats and more are available on Wisconsinmade.com.

What’s your favorite variety of brat?

6 Wisconsin Ethnic Bakeries

Wisconsin’s European settlers came from a number of countries that were homes to delicious baking traditions.  As a result Wisconsin is blessed with surviving ethnic bakeries that carry on this tradition.  As you travel around Wisconsin stop and visit some of these.  I think six of the best are:

  1. Swiss traditional breads, cookies and Holiday Stollen shine at the New Glarus
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    New Glarus Bakery owner Angie with fresh bread

    Bakery in New Glarus Wisconsin. Busy favorite of locals and visitors alike,  Visit if you are nearby.

  2. Norwegian specialties like rosettes, krumkake, sandbakkel and berlina kranser are featured at the Fosdal Home Bakery in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
  3. German favorites like Black Forest Tort, dense breads, desserts and chocolate truffles are the core of a broad selection at Clasen’s European Bakery in Middleton, Wisconsin.
  4. Danish pastries and cakes are the favorites at O&H Danish Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin. Kringle has long been a Danish favorite and is also now a Wisconsin favorite.

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    O&H Pecan Kringle

  5. Czech pastries can be found at Tom’s Pastry Shoppe in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. You can find kolache’s and buhuite here along with other old-world goodies.
  6. Swedish items are the stock in trade at
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    Gnandma’s Swedish Bakery at Rowley’s Bay Resort

    Grandma’s Swedish Bakery located at the Rowley’s Bay Resort near Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. Open mid-May to mid-October their Swedish Limpa bread, cardamom coffee cake, Swedish Rye and their famous pecan rolls are all customer favorites.

If you can’t visit them some selections from the New Glarus Bakery and O&H Danish Bakery are available on Wisconsinmade.com.

Wisconsinmade.com bakery link

What are your favorite ethnic pastries?

Summer treats in Wisconsin

Summer in Wisconsin! 

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Student Union Lakeside Brat Stand Photo by Rick Remeschatis

The University of Wisconsin Madison campus is in bloom, seniors have graduated and the brats are back on the student union lakeside terrace!  The outdoor grill is fired up and the students and alumni favorites are cooking.  Cold beer and ice cream too.

Student Union brats on Wisconsinmade.com

 

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Babcock Hall Dairy store Photo by Rick Remeschatis

 

The ice cream comes from the Babcock Hall Dairy operation and is made right there on campus by the agriculture education team.

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Babcock ice cream Photo by Linda Remeschatis

 

 

 

 

Babcock Ice Cream on Wisconsinmade.com

Looking out over the sail boats on Lake Mendota on a sunny afternoon is relaxing.  One of the nicer opportunities in Madison.   If you can’t get there yourself, you can still get the same brats that are served there and the ice cream too, both available for delivery to your door via the links above.

Grilling brats photo by Rick Remeschatis

Or perhaps you would like to fire up your grill and try a wider variety of our Wisconsinmade bratwurst.  A broad selection of brats and sauces are available at:

Bratwurst selection from Wisconsinmade.com

What are your favorite Wisconsin summer food treats?

6 Wisconsin Vacation Dining Treasures

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Door County Lake Michigan Sunrise – photo by Linda Remeschatis

Welcome to Wisconsin.  Here in Wisconsin we work our way through January and February in order to receive our reward – summer!  Wisconsin is among the best places on earth to enjoy June through October. During these months we host an influx of a horde of tourists that agree.  But the benefit is that we all (visitors and natives) support a vast number of food emporiums that treat us to their exceptional delights.  All over the fine state of Wisconsin there are hosts waiting to treat you to their finest food.  Some are oriented towards couples and quiet dinners (these used to be called supper clubs) and others are focused on families with children or those looking for value priced meals.  All of them welcome you with Wisconsin hospitality.

The vacation regions of the state include a number of destination cities or counties.  The “thumb like” peninsula that sticks out to your right as you look at a map of Wisconsin is Door County.  It is one of the favorite vacation destinations for many reasons.  Hotels, restaurants, parks, activities, lots of fun and adventure.  For foodies what are the destinations to consider in Door County?  Well, some are for adults and some reflect a more family (with kids) oriented atmosphere.  There are 184 dining establishments in Door County.  Do you have a favorites list?  Here are some of our adult oriented recommendations:

Adult dining venues in Door County:

Donny’s Glidden Lodge – on the Lake Michigan side, great view, great food, you’ll both love it!  Donnysgliddenlodge.com

Alexander’s – near Ephraim, great food with a long fine food tradition in Door County  Alexandersofdoorcounty.com

Wickman house – restored elegant farm house reopened and still a delight in Ellison Bay  Wisckmanhouse.com

Harbor Fish Market and Grill – always good food and service on the water in Baileys Harbor harborfishmarker-gille.com

Whistling Swan – B&B dining with class.  Reservations suggested. Whistlingswan.com

White Gull Inn – in Fish Creek, always a family favorite. Whitegullinn.com

As you tour beautiful Door County be sure to visit the state and county parks for unusual geology and seasonal vegetation variations.

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Seaquist Orchards Market photo by Rick Remeschatis

For foodies there are numerous farm markets, bakeries, cheese shops and road side stops to explore.  The county is renowned for its production of Montmorency tart cherries used in baking.  Seaquist Orchards just south of Ellison Bay has a delightful visitor’s center and shop that offers their cherries and many other Wisconsin goodies.

In conclusion, it is pretty easy to find a good meal in Door County in summer.   Come join us for an “edible antics food friendly” visit here in Wisconsin.  Or if you cannot visit Wisconsin you can explore many of our artisan’s treats at Wisconsinmade.com that are available for shipping for your personal enjoyment.