A cheesemaker, like most artists, can take inspiration from anywhere. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Master Cheesemaker and Wisconsinmade.com artisan Sid Cook reveals the inspiration behind two of his award winning varieties- Cranberry Chipotle and Cocoa Cardona.
A grocery shopper told Sid she would love some cranberry chipotle flavored cheese. Sid was skeptical that the flavors work, but since the shopper was willing to buy a large quantity he decided to give it a try. The key in perfecting this strange combo was allowing the sweet flavor on the cranberries to come out first, followed by the smokiness of the chipotle peppers. A grocery store suggestion turned into an award winning cheese when Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar took 3rd Place at the 2007 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and 3rd Place at the 2007 American Cheese Society.*
If you think getting cheese flavor ideas from random grocery store shoppers is odd, the story behind Coca Cardona is even weirder. Sid says that during a busy day of cheesemaking, he would put a chocolate bar on his Swiss cheese sandwich. The busy day sandwich inspired Cocoa Cardona Cheese took 1st Place at the 2004 and 2nd in 2006 American Cheese Society Competition and Best of Class & Overall Second Runner-Up out of 1,000 entries in the 2005 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.*
Find these Carr Valley cheeses and more creations from Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook on Wisconsinmade.com.