8 Fun Facts About Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Around  this time last year I wrote a post about rhubarb and it got 225 Facebook Likes! Wow! I'm the kind of blogger who likes to give the people what they want, and you voted with your clicks that you want MORE RHUBARB! So here are 8 fun facts about rhubarb! 

1. Don't let the sweet rhubarb desserts fool you- rhubarb is actually a vegetable. 

2. The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous if you eat them, so don't! 

3. Fans celebrate rhubarb at rhubarb festivals all over the world, including Rhubrarb Days in Osceola, Wisconsin (June 6-7). 

4. Rhubarb was first cultivated in China in 2700 BC for medical purposes. 

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12 Father’s Day Gifts That Are WAY Cooler Than a Card

 Father's Day is coming up fast and it's time to start thinking about what to get dad this year. At Wisconsinmade.com, we've been in the gift  giving business since 1999, so we know that men love gifts that are functional and/or tasty. And since greeting cards are neither useful nor delicious, we recommend one of these gifts instead!

By the way, did you know you can shop now and we'll send the gift closer to Father's Day? We call this delayed delivery, just select the week you would like the gift to be delivered at checkout, or call our  customer service line 1-877-957-6233.

Happy shopping! 

1. Nueske Snack Assortment- All of the Wisconsin meaty, cheesey goodness dad could want in one convenient  gift assortment! 

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2. Wisconsin Sports Trifecta T-shirt- Now dad can cheer for the Packers, Brewers and Badgers with one t-shirt! Shipping included!

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10 Cheese Hacks to Make Wisconsin Cheese Even Better

 Can Wisconsin cheese get any better? It can with these 10 cheese hacks! 

1. Take a handful of cheese curds and put them on a plate. Microwave 3-8 seconds (depending on your microwave). The curds will be slightly melted and squeaky! 

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2. Use Wisconsin Wilderness Cranberry Chutney to top baked brie. 

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3. Got a little mold on your cheese? Don't worry. Just cut away the bad part plus a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and use within a few days.

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Image via Flickr

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12 Awesome Gifts Your Mom Deserves for Putting Up With You

In case you missed it, Mother's Day is May 11th. If you're thinking about getting her a gift, stop thinking an start shopping! If your mom is anything like my mom, she has done more nice things for you than you can even count- like calmed you down when you got a hair brush stuck in your hair, or drove you to bassoon lessons, or put socks on your hands so you couldn't scratch yourself when you were a baby. With all the nice things mom has done for you, get her something extra nice on Mother's Day, like one of these awesome Wisconsin Mother's Day gifts! (Side note – we're getting down to the wire! Most of these gifts should arrive on time for Mother's Day but call 1-800-947-6233 if you have questions!) 

 

1. Mother's Day Butter Tarts Gift Box - $5 off through 5/5/14 at Wisconsinmade.com

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2. Mother's Day Sugar Cookie Gift Tin

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10 Things Wisconsinites Can’t Wait To Do Now That It’s Warm Outside

It's been a long cold winter in Wisconsin, and if you're like me, you can't wait to get outside and enjoy the time of year when the air doesn't hurt your face! Here are 10 things Wisconsinites can't wait to do do now that it's warm! 

1. Visit the farmers market! 

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The Dane County Farmers Market is the largest producers-only farmers market in the USA. It happens every Saturday on the capital square in Madison. 

 

2. Grill some brats outside!

 

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While some Wisconsinites like to grill in warm weather, others have been known to grill brats outside in January. 

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Wisconsin- What’s Your Favorite Type of Pizza?

PizzaThe pizza debate between New York City and Chicago has been raging on for years, but John Stewart recently added some fuel to the fire when he called Chicago deep dish "an above ground marinara swimming pool for rats." 

My personal opinion is that comparing Chicago pizza and New York pizza is like comparing apples to oranges. Let's face it Chicago, your pizza isn't really pizza, it's a casserole. A mind-blowingly delicious cheesy, meaty, saucy casserole, but still a casserole that happens to have similar ingredients to a pizza. So as much as I love Chicago deep dish, my vote goes with New York since their pizza is more pizza-like. 

I also think this debate is entirely missing some of my other favorite kinds of pizza- wood-fired oven pizza, for example. I live in Madison so my favorite places to frequent are Pizza Brutta and Novanta, but any pizza parlor that serves wood-fired oven pizza with fresh ingredients and fire kissed crust gets my vote. 

And what about "take-and-bake" pizza? The whole concept seemed crazy to me at first. If I want to order pizza, I'm probably feeling lazy so why would I bake it myself? There is a Papa Murphy's take-and-bake pizza shop right near my house, so I decided to give it a try, and now I have officially been converted to a take and bake fan! A huge pie is $10 or less, and you get to enjoy it hot out of the oven. I've even been known to buy a huge Papa Murphy's pie and eat it over the course of several days while my husband is away on business. It may not be the healthiest idea ever, but it's cheaper than groceries and easier than cooking and cleaning! Side note: This review is concerning the thin crust Papa Murphy's – I'm less impressed with the regular crust. 

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Wurst Idea Ever! EU Wants To Limit What Sausages Can Be Labeled As Bratwurst

BratsandbeerI don't often talk about things like the European Union, trade agreements and senators on Edible Antics, but for a news story about beer, cheese and bratwurst, I'll make an exception. 

If you haven't heard, news outlets are reporting that during recent trade negotiations, the European Union wants the U.S. to agree to change the name of bratwursts, cheeses (like parmesan and feta), and beers (Octoberfest, Kolsch and Bavarian) that they feel are devaluing their local specialties. According to USAToday.com, if the U.S. agrees to E.U. demands "U.S. manufacturers would have to change product names to "bratwurst-style sausages," "Oktoberfest-like ale" or "the lunch meat formerly known as bologna."' 

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is fired up:  "I consider this an attack on our proud traditions and I am standing up for Wisconsin cheese, brats and beer." She's working with other senators to block this part of the trade agreement. 

It sounds to me like the E.U. is trying to say Wisconsin cheesemakers, for example, can't use the word parmesan because if I buy Wisconsin-made parmesan at Copps in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, that is somehow harming people in Parma, Italy? I find that hard to believe.

As a food blogger and all around food enthusiast I do understand that certain foods become part of a culture and a tradition, but bratwurst, cheese and beer have been part of the Wisconsin tradition for hundreds of years now because of European immigrants. You would think the E.U. would be proud their influence has spread so far. Plus, after 100+ years, there should be a "no-take-backs!" rule on food names.

But don't worry, politics are all about compromise, and as proud and friendly Wisconsinites, we're willing to make concessions. Wisconsinmade.com artisan, Master Wisconsin Meat Crafter, and Diplomat Extraordinaire Jeff Roberts of Glenn's Market suggests Wisconsin keeps names for bratwurst, cheese, and beer, and "They (the E.U.)  can have 'weiner schnitzel,'" he said. "We don't use that very often. Give them that one; make them happy. That's good enough.'"

What do you think about relabeling bratwurst, cheese and beer? Are you willing to give up Wiener Schnitzel?

9 Words That Have a Totally Different Meaning in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, some words have different meanings than they do in the rest of the USA. Luckily, I've put together a fun and fabulous guide to Wisconsin words. Enjoy! 

  1. Brat

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What it usually means: A misbehaving child. 

What it means in Wisconsin: A German sausage that is boiled in beer, grilled and served on a crusty bun. Brats can be found at every Wisconsin cookout, sporting event and celebration. 

Shop for Wisconsin brats online

    2. Winter

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What it usually means: The cold weather months of December through March. 

What it means in Wisconsin: The cold weather months of October through April when you question your decision to live in a place where the air hurts your face. 

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6 World Championship Cheese Contest Winning Wisconsin Cheeses That Ship Nationwide

Every year cheesemakers from far and wide travel to Madison, Wisconsin to enter the World Championship Cheese Contest to rate the best cheeses in 90 categories and the best overall cheese. A cheese from Switzerland called Original Schweizer Rohmilch Emmentaler won the grand prize in the 2014 contest, but overall Wisconsin cheeses dominate the competition, winning 59 out of the 90 categories. Wisconsin cheeses received 33 gold medals, with Vermont and New York as distant runners up with 5 medals each. 

Want to try some of the award winning cheeses? You’re in luck, because the following winning cheeses ship nationwide from Wisconsinmade.com

  1. Havarti by Decatur Dairy, Third Award in the Havarti Category 
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    This is a favorite among the Wisconsinmade.com staff. Marilyn says she loves the mild buttery flavor and smooth texture.
  2. Dill Havarti by Decatur Dairy, Second Award in the Flavored Havarti Category
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    Dill adds a fresh flavor to the already addictive havarti. You can also try Decatur Dairy havarti in pepper, horseradish, and olive.
  3. Roth Buttermilk Blue by Emmi Roth USA, Best In Class in the Blue Veined Category 
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    Fans of Roth Buttermilk Blue report they just can’t stop eating it!

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