Saturday night Wisconsinmade.com welcomed 2009 with a staff party at CEO Linda Remeschatis’s house. The party was pot-luck, but not your regular old pot-luck. Definitely not the pot-luck I attended 20 years ago to which every guest brought potatoes – mostly in chip form. No, this pot-luck was gourmet. Chefs from all over Wisconsin contributed their finest gourmet foods to our table.
Wisconsinmade.com is a website which helps Wisconsin artisans and small businesses sell their creations to an audience beyond the borders of Wisconsin art fairs and mom-and-pop shops. The company celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and to kick off the year the staff celebrated with samples of the Wisconsin-made, gourmet food that people all over the country have been ordering on-line and over the phone with us.
Linda adorned her dining table with the best of Wisconsin chefs. We enjoyed Rushing Waters smoked salmon:Cajun spiced, traditionally smoked, and three-peppered; Nueske smoked duck; championship Wisconsin cheeses from Babcock Hall Dairy, Roth Kase, and Decatur Dairy; Wisconsin summer sausage, Wisconsin Wilderness cranberry chutney, and three kinds of herring from Bay View Packing Company: herring in cream sauce, wine sauce and pickled herring rollmops.
Bay View’s herring was a big seller in 2008! People who ordered it the previous Christmas came back for more and they told their friends. Customers have been raving about it. That’s why Linda had to include it in our celebratory feast. However, no matter how much cream sauce disguises it, herring is still a little gray fish. Don’t get me wrong, Wisconsinites love cooking and eating fish. Wisconsin put Friday fish frys and summer fish boils on the map. But being Mid-Westerners, we in Wisconsin differ from our compatriots on the coasts and are typically unaccustomed to swallowing slimy whole sea creatures. So here on Linda’s table were three varieties of those sea creatures. Would we eat them? We were well-aware of their enthusiastic reviews, who would dare?