Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: beer (page 1 of 2)

Touring Marathon and Marinette Counties

Wisconsinmade.com blog Edible Antics is touring Wisconsin posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we were touring in previous weeks. The prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the blog. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post some background information on each county followed by specific links to our Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.

This week we continue our Wisconsin counties virtual culinary tour in Marathon and Marinette counties looking for edibles and adventures.

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

wurst-idea-everI 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?

What’s New at New Glarus Brewery

whats-new-at-new-glarus-breweryIt’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two years since my last trip to the New Glarus Brewery. My husband and I decided to make the scenic drive from Madison to New Glarus to enjoy the fall colors and see what was new. We noticed the outdoor space at the brewery had changed- there was more seating and some interesting decorative walls, and after talking to one of the tour guides we learned that even more construction is in the works.

When I last visited New Glarus, they were producing around 127,000 barrels of beer each year. With the expansions they have planned, they hope to be producing 250,000 barrels per year in the next 3-5 years, according to a recent article in the Isthmus. Does this increase in production mean New Glarus will FINALLY start out-of-state distribution? We asked the tour guide at the brewery this question and he said absolutely not. New Glarus Brewery prides themselves on being an “only in Wisconsin” beer and they don’t have any plans to change that. Since craft beers are becoming more and more popular, there is enough demand in the state of Wisconsin to justify the increase in production.

Another new addition is a 20th Anniversary Ale which is brewed in the Belgian Dubbel style. I wish I could tell you how it tastes but we decided it to keep the bottles we bought safely tucked away in our wine fridge- the Anniversary Ale supposivly gets better with age. I DID taste some other New Glarus beers including an Octoberfest beer called Staghorn- a flavorful beer with a smooth finish, and Serendipity – a strawberry beer that’s a must try for fruit beer lovers.

The New Glarus Brewery also won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this weekend, proving that I’m not the only one who thinks that Wisconsin makes the best beer in the USA!

What’s your favorite Wisconsin beer?

 

 

 

Octoberfest Celebrations – Beer and Bratwurst

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival that is held annually in Munich Germany. The event has been celebrated in Germany since 1810. It started that year as a prenuptial festivity for a royal wedding and it was so popular an event,  it was recreated every year after, always starting in September  and ending in October. Oktoberfest  is not only one of the most famous  events in Germany,  it is one of the world’s largest festivals, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.

In 1999 there were six and a half million visitors –  72% are from Bavaria,  the rest of from all over the world,  including the United States, Canada, Australia and East Asia. Not only is beer flowing but a number of foods are served during the festival including chicken, ham hocks, sausages, bratwurst,  weisswurst and others.  For more information about the historical Oktoberfest in Germany you can go to wikipedia.

If you can’t get to Germany, and many of us cannot, there are some great US Oktoberfest celebrations as well. Given that about 20 percent of  Americans  claim to have some German ancestry,  it has become a very popular event in many cities in the US.

In Wisconsin there are numerous cities that enjoy day long Oktoberfest festivals with lots of beer, bratwurst, knockwurst and weisswurst.  German heritage in Wisconsin is very prominent throughout these cities and it is definitely a must-attend festivity for beer and bratwurst lovers.  Below are just a few of the cities in Wisconsin that yearly celebrate their German heritage by hosting this beer loving event.
Appleton – Sept 27 and 28
New Glarus  – Sept 27 – 29.
Chippewa Falls – Sept 20 – 22.
Milwaukee – Sept 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
La Crosse – Sept 27 – October 5

The Beer and Cheese Festival: Wisconsin Winter Fun with Pretzel Necklaces!


beer-cheese-festivalThe Isthmus Beer and Cheese Festival happens every January in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m a little late, but I had such a fun time I absolutely must write about it! I’ll also share my tips for what to do before, during, and after the beer cheese fest!

Before

Make pretzel necklaces. This was my first visit to the beer and cheese festival, but my friend and Wisconsinmade.com coworker Hannah had been before. She insisted that we make pretzel necklaces. Serious beer and cheese fest attendees know that pretzel necklaces are convenient for cleansing your pallet in between beer samples, but more importantly, a salty snack.  A warning from an experienced pretzel necklace wearer- don’t try to hug anyone while wearing your pretzel necklace or your pretzels will end up in pieces on the floor!

Eat something! Yes, there are plenty of cheese samples, and even a few food vendors to buy snacks from, but there is even more beer to taste, so don’t leave the house unless you’ve had enough to eat.

 

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A Wisconsin Road Trip: New Glarus, Wisconsin

I’m trying to make the most of what’s left of my Wisconsin summer, so I decided to go on a Wisconsin road trip. From Madison, Wisconsin, it’s a 45 minute drive on scenic back roads to New Glarus, a charming town that is famous for tasty beer and embracing Swiss heritage.  If you live in Wisconsin and you’re looking for a fun road trip or even a weekend stay-cation, New Glarus is the place to go.

new-glarus-1 According to the New Glarus Chamber of Commerce, the town was named by the Swiss immigrants from Glarus, Switzerland who first settled there.  The name isn’t the only thing Swiss about this tiny town, the chalet-like buildings, cheesy food, and friendly locals will make you want to yodel with glee. I enjoyed a late lunch at the Glarner Stube, a rustic bar and restaurant that gives you the feeling of being transported to Switzerland.  My favorite dish was the roasti- crispy potatoes with a gooey cheese baked inside.  This starchy, cheesy delight comes in a generous portion, but don’t worry, the left-overs are just as good the next day.

Oddly enough, the adorable Swiss village isn’t New Glarus’s biggest claim to fame.  That honor belongs to the New Glarus Brewery.  Nestled on a hilltop that overlooks rolling hills and farmland, the brewery offers free self-guided tours and inexpensive beer tasting to the tourists, cyclists and bikers that visit each day.  The building outside reminds me of a European castle and contrasts nicely with the state of the art, clean and shiny brewing equipment in the facility built in 2007.  For $3.50 you get to sample three of your favorite brews. New Glarus beers are only available in Wisconsin, and they have no plans to expand- it’s their way of getting you to come visit Wisconsin, and of course, New Glarus.

We only get a few nice days a year in Wisconsin, and a day spent exploring New Glarus won’t be wasted! Don’t worry, even if you live outside of Wisconsin you can still get a taste of New Glarus- the town at least, you still need to visit Wisconsin to try the beer.  Get cooking with recipes for sauerbraten and beer cheese soup right here on my blog.  If cooking’s not your thing, you can shop for New Glarus goodies at Wisconsinmade.com. The New Glarus Bakery ships bread, cookies and Swiss pastries nationwide.  Another food New Glarus seems to love is landjager, a slightly spicy dried sausage. The pairs of sausages are attached with a string and hang in their own little Swiss chalets on the counters of New Glarus bars and shops, ready to fill the bellies of hungry visitors, you can get yours here.  A day spent in New Glarus or a taste of the town’s ethnic food will make you realize Wisconsin is so much more than cows and cheese.

What’s your favorite Wisconsin town to visit?

Beer in Food and Other Unexpected Places

Beer Bread It’s no secret that in Wisconsin we like beer.  We like beer so much we put beer in food whenever possible- like beer brats and beer cheese soup.  We even like to come up with new ways to use beer- like in an unexpected recipe or even in soap! A beer gift makes a great Father’s Day  surprise, so here’s a list of my top 5 favorite Wisconsin beer related foods and gifts.

1. Beer Brats – A secret to delicious Wisconsin beer brats is a quick boil in some Wisconsin beer.  Save a step and send your brats straight to the grill with precooked red lager beer brats.  They are already boiled so all you have to do is seer them on the grill, pop them into a bun and top with your favorite brat toppings.  Perfect for a Father’s Day cookout.

2. Beer Cheese Soup– On my previous post I wondered if beer cheese soup was Wisconsin’s OFFICIAL soup, and according to my Twitter followers ( @Wisconsinmade ) it actually is! Who knew?

3. Beer Bread– Beer bread is a perfect accompaniment for soup and chili, but if you aren’t much of a  baker, don’t worry because there are plenty of tasty beer bread mixes out there.

4. Beer Soap- No, that’s not a typo, I do mean SOAP not SOUP.  Talk about an unexpected place to find beer!  This Wisconsin beer Soap Gift set is free of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives, but it does have beer from the Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin.

5. Drink Your Beer and Eat It Too Cookbook – When I first saw this beer cookbook I expected your standard beer recipes like beer brats and beer soup, and sure enough, this book has that! It also has some surprising uses for beer like in baked pork chops or desserts like gingerbread. A great gift for a Dad who likes to spend time in the kitchen.

 

Beer Cheese Soup

beer-cheese-1 I don’t know if Wisconsin has an official soup, but if it did, it would be beer cheese soup.  As a newbie Wisconsinite, I don’t have a tried and true recipe, so browsing all the options was a bit overwhelming.  I had to decide on the type of cheese, type of beer, and if I wanted to include add-ins from bratwurst to butternut squash. I settled for a combo of cheddar and swiss- cheddar for the flavor and swiss for the creaminess.  For beer, I picked a local brew of course.  I chose a recipe with some carrot, green onion, celery and potatoes, because let’s face it, we all need to eat our veggies and it is easy to get in your daily requirement when they are swimming in cheesy goodness.  Do you have a favorite beer cheese soup recipe? Post a link! Click continue reading to see my recipe.

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Bratwurst

Bratwurst! Some say beer, but bratwurst are the main attraction at Oktoberfest parties in Wisconsin.

Bratwurst and polka dancing, to be fair. While the bratwursts sizzle, the accordion bands fire up the festival-goers. Everybody twirls, skips, and wiggles. They work up a gigantic thirst, which they wash down with Oktoberfest beer, and a humongous appetite which they satisfy with German-style BRATWURSTS. 

Bratwurst, beer, and polka – they’re our Oktoberfest trio of fun.

We Wisconsinites used to polka dance like the pros, back a century or so ago. Polka rhythm and steps were passed down through the German families who first settled in Wisconsin. But somehow over the years, our polka dancing became less authentic, less true to its origins, – unlike our bratwursts. Wisconsin chefs still make bratwurst with traditional seasonings and methods. Unfortunately  our polka dancing didn’t fare so well.

Eventually, our traditional polka, which began as a variation of the waltz, transmuted into The Wisconsin Chicken Dance. How? Maybe it was all the beer. We lost our inhibitions and began dancing like barn animals. Or, more likely, it was all the bratwurst. Keep reading watch us dance, and check out the Wisconsin Oktoberfest schedule.

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Wisconsin Food

Wisconsin Food – So you’re from Wisconsin? What do you eat up there?

Goin’ to Chicago this weekend. Chicago Dad is throwing a party. It’s a pot-luck. Everyone’s supposed to bring something. Since I live in Wisconsin, I’m supposed to bring Wisconsin food.

Gourmet Food Gifts

Dad loves throwing parties, he calls them ‘swarms’. To his past ‘swarms’ I’ve brought Wisconsin cheese. It was a no-brainer, expected and enjoyed by my Illinois relatives. For the pre- and post-party meals, I’ve supplied Dad with Wisconsin ham, bacon, and brats.  Those are his favs. But time to bring something different to the party, something other than cheese.

Since I work at a place that specializes in selling gourmet Wisconsin food, I figured I’d look at the list of top selling Wisconsin foods and pick one of those. If so many folks regularly buy them, they must be good.

But then I was a bit surprised. Are the Illinois relatives ready for this menu of favorite Wisconsin food? Keep reading to see what Wisconsinites REALLY eat when they’re not eating cheese, brats, and beer.

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