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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: chocolate (page 1 of 2)

Green and Green Lake County edibles

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Is it an Irish miracle we are in Green County and Green Lake County on St Pat’s Day?

This week we continue our Wisconsin County culinary tour in Green County and Green Lake County.  Both of these Wisconsin counties have major tourism activities to complement their economic base.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green County by David Benbennick

Green County

Green County hosts 36,800 people on 584 square miles.  The county seat is Monroe and other cities and villages include:

  • Broadhead
  • New Glarus
  • Monticello
  • Albany
  • Browntown

Green County is a heavily agricultural based community that is the largest cheese producing county in Wisconsin.  It has a strong Swiss and German heritage that offers visitors a chance to experience some of these old-world traditions.  Local festivals often feature yodeling, dancing, Alpen horns, flag throwing and Swiss and German dress.  The Green County Master Cheese-GruyereCheesemakers are well represented at the World championship Cheese contest in Madison, Wisconsin March 7-9th.  Champions from over 2,000 entries in 102 classes of cheese, butter and yogurt were selected with one of them crowned the Grand Champion best cheese in the world..  And that Grand Champion Cheese is…..the Roth Grand Cru Surchoix from Emmi Roth – Monroe, Wisconsin.  A Green County cheese won the Championship. artisan partners in Green County include

  • Decatur Dairy known for their award winning Havarti, Brick and Muenster.  Just received third place in Class 37 Brick, Muenster for Steve Stettler’s Brick Cheese and first place in Class 59 Open Class: Smoked and Semi soft cheese for their Smoked Mediterranean Herb Havarti.  Try their Brick cheese with a glass of Merlot.
  • New Glarus Bakery featuring fine Swiss Pastries, breads and Holiday Stollen.
  • Emmi Roth Cheese Company known for their Swiss, Parmesan, and Buttermilk Blue cheese in addition to winning
    The contestants

    World Cheese Contest entires

    the Grand Champion award at the World Cheese Championships also second place in Class 52 Smear Ripened Hard Cheese for their Roth Private Reserve; third place in Class 57 Open Class Pepper Flavored Cheese, Medium Heat for their Roth 3 Chile Pepper Gouda. Try their Gouda with a glass of Champagne.

  • Minhas Brewery and Distillery makers of fine beers and spirits and MInhas soda
  • Benesh Photography presents award winning images from outdoor Wisconsin
  • Winks Whoopie Pies These soft cake-like sandwiches with a creamy buttercream filling became an instant hit.

In addition to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners Edible Antics Green County recommendations include:

Cheese Companies

  • Chalet Cheese the last US maker of Limburger cheese
  • Edelweiss Cheese makers of fine Swiss and Muenster cheeses.  Swiss cheese pairs well a chilled Riesling.
  • Klondike Cheese makers of fine Brick cheese and Odyssey Greek Yogurt and Feta
  • Maple Leaf Cheese makes award winning cheddar.  Cheddar pairs well with Pinot Gri.
  • Depplers cheese known for their Baby Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese pairs well with Riesling.

Meat markets

Restaurants and Supper Clubs

  • Baumgartner’s Cheese Shop and Tavern on the Square in downtown Monroe is the oldest cheese shop in Wisconsin and features local beers and cheeses. Try their liver sausage and Limburger cheese sandwich with a slice of raw onion on Rye.
  • Turner Hall in Monroe is steeped in the Swiss traditions and history of south-central Wisconsin, the Turner Hall of Monroe is a non-profit 501(c) (3) center of Swiss heritage and community activities. Established in 1868, it is believed to be the only
    turner hall monroe

    Turner Hall

    Turner Hall of Swiss origin left in the United States, and is likewise one of the oldest, continuously-running Swiss entities in this country. The building, a Swiss Emmenthal-style chalet designed by German architect Max Hanisch, is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places and is handicapped-accessible.  An authentic Old World Ratskeller Restaurant, an elegant Grand Hall with the area’s largest wooden floor, and a “retro” 8-lane Family Bowling facility are all part of the Turner Hall of Monroe

  • Franklin Grove near Albany is opening for the season March 23 for Wed thru Sunday meals.  According to one reviewer: “Not a huge menu but an interesting one. Food has always been excellent. Loved the afternoon tea. We enjoy the ambience – you eat in the midst of an antique store. Good place to find an unusual gift.”
  • New Glarus Hotel serves patrons Swiss specialties like Geschnetzeltes, Cheese Fondue à la Neuchatel, Beef Fondue Bourguignonne, Rösti, and more!

Specialty shops and interesting stops

  • Chocolate Temptation is a chocolate shop with ice cream and coffee for you on the square in Monroe.
  • Esther’s European Imports Swiss shop in New Glarus has fondue and Raclette supplies, regional cookbooks, traditional Swiss folk wear, Swiss cow bells and more.  A little bit of Switzerland right here in Wisconsin.
  • Brenda’s Blumenladen is an amazing boutique with a great selection of home décor, giftware, flowers and fashion accessories, as well as a greenhouse and complete garden center.
  • New Glarus Brewing is a quaint little brewery nestled on the outskirts of New Glarus, Wisconsin. The brewery is run by an enthusiastic couple, Daniel & Deb Carey, who have successfully combined business management and brewing professionalism. Their philosophy is based on individuality, cooperation and the employment of 100% natural ingredients to produce world-class, handcrafted beers for their friends in Wisconsin.  Their beers are available “Only in Wisconsin”

Interesting Tourism attractions in Green County

  • The Swiss Historical Village & Museum presents the unique story of the founding of New Glarus in 1845 and traces the Swiss colony’s growth into a dairy farming community that continues to keep alive its ethnic heritage.
  • Green County Courthouse was built in 1891; it is the county’s second permanent courthouse. Architect G. Stanley Marshfield designed the Richardsonian Romanesque building. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
  • Catalog and online company Duluth Trading is headquartered in Belleville Wisconsin and has an outlet store for customers to search for bargains.
  • Catalog and online company Swiss Colony is headquartered in Monroe Wisconsin and has an outlet store for items from their eleven catalog divisions
  • The Sugar River State Trail follows an abandoned railroad line in south central Wisconsin for 24 miles from New Glarus to Brodhead.  The Sugar River State Trail  has fourteen trestle bridges cross over the Sugar River and its tributaries, while the trail passes by farmlands, woods, rolling hills, scenic meadows, remnant prairies and glacial topography. North of Brodhead, the trail goes over a replica covered bridge. The trail has also been designated as a National Recreational Trail.  The Sugar River Trail headquarters is in the restored 1887 railroad depot in New Glarus. The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places and houses displays of local culture and railroad history.
  • National Historic Cheesemaking Center in Monroe.  Discover the leadership and innovation that Monroe area cheesemakers have provided throughout the years, molding Wisconsin into the country’s premier quality cheese producer.

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green Lake County by David Benbennick

Green Lake County

The City of Green Lake is the county seat of this county that is home to 19,100 people and covers a relatively small 354 square miles.  Other cities include:

  • Princeton
  • Berlin
  • Markesan

Green Lake is the largest and deepest natural inland lake is Wisconsin.   Green Lake is known for its fishing and recreational tourist community during the summer months. Area activities include camping, biking, fishing, hiking, golfing, swimming, and boating. Green Lake is the home of the Green Lake Conference Center, which was founded by the American Baptist Churches USA in 1943. Also near the conference center is the Golf Courses of Lawsonia, built on the former estate of Victor F. Lawson, the owner and publisher of the Chicago Daily News.

The county includes the White River Marsh and the Grand River Marsh state wildlife areas.  In summer these areas host some of the rare migratory Whooping Cranes.  Crane Fest that celebrates these cranes is scheduled for September 10, 2016.

Edible Antics Green Lake County recommendations include:

  • Heidel House Resort and its Grey Rock restaurant
    Heidel House overview

    Heidel House

    on the shores of Green Lake hosts their Brewfest March 19th with appetizers, live entertainment and over 100 microbrews from Wisconsin.

  • Beckwith House in Berlin is a historic hotel built in 1863
  • Russel Moccasin Company in Berlin has dedicated itself to providing hunters and outdoors men and women with the finest handmade, custom fitted moccasin style boots and shoes available anywhere…at any price.
  • Ellison’s Grey Lion Inn bed and breakfast in Princeton provides comfortable lodging for visitors to the famous Princeton Flea Market, craniacs visiting the White River Marsh or casual vacationers in the area.
  • The September 9 -11 Whooping Crane Festival in Princeton
  • Franks Hometown meat in Berlin is a local butcher shop with a full variety of meats available to locals and visitors alike.
  • Lenz’s Green Lake Meadows Farm for grass fed beef
  • Honey Creek Farm for beef
  • The Village Bakery in Princeton
  • The Angel Inn in Green Lake is a beautifully restored turn-of- century Greek Revival Mansion on the western shores of Green Lake.

Both Green County and Green Lake County offer visitors numerous opportunities to experience some of the Wisconsin heritage and the delicious treats that are available in these communities.  We invite you to experience all these people, places and edibles Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Join us next week for culinary and tourism sights in Iowa and Iron counties.

Final Christmas push

Not done yet?  Still have a few more on your list?  What to do?

Shipping deadlines to arrive before Christmas for many items have pasted.


Pecan and Raspberry Kringles

But orders through Dec. 20th for Kringle will ship on the 21st and should arrive almost everywhere by the 24th.

Additionally the  “month club” gifts feature monthly deliveries of selected items and are announced to the recipient via a mailing that lets them know about the coming months gifts.


Wisconsinmade cheese and sausage


The available month clubs from include:


Wisconsinmade gift card

And the Wisconsinmade gift cards can be delivered by US mail or electronically via email in minutes.

The entire team at Wisconsinmade and all of our Artisan partners wish you and your families a Merry Christmas.  When you share these treats remember they were all

Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin

I Scream For Ice Cream

Babcock Hall Ice cream pints

Recently Reuters published an article detailing the changing tastes in the ice cream market.  Among other changes noticed in the worldwide markets for ice cream they reported that consumers are turning to niche brands with unusual ingredients.  The mindset they quoted was “If I’m gonna have some ice cream, it’s gotta be the good stuff.”

Here in Wisconsin, the dairy state, we specialize in “the good stuff.”  The University of Wisconsin Madison has as part of their agriculture school an entire laboratory and production facility devoted Babcock Hall ice cream productionto the process of producing high quality ice cream and teaching students how it is done.  As a result Wisconsin manufacturers include Chocolate Shoppe, Cedar Crest and the UW’s own Babcock Hall  brands of ice cream.  Graduates from this program are in high demand.


Flavor selections offers these ice creams for delivery packed with dry ice in a reusable foam cooler.  Also available are delicious ice cream toppings to add to the treat.  Looking for unique flavors of ice cream?  How about these items:

  • Cookie dough                              Black Licorice
  • Mint Chocolate                             Coconut Almond
  • Cookies and cream                      Espresso Oreo
  • Mocha Machiatto                          Machinac Island fudge
  • Orange custard chocolate chip    Mint Avalanche
  • Blue moon                                     Zanzibar Chocolate

On a hot summer day a cool dish of special ice cream hits the spot.  So join the international trend and get “some of the good stuff” for you and your family at Wisconsinmade.

Ice Cream! – Made with pride and passion in Wisconsin.

Bacon On A Stick!

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


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.

alligaotr bites

Alligator bites

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


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!

bacon wrapped tater tots

“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. 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

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday because it’s for everyone! Love comes in all shapes and sizes — and that means Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. Here are a few Valentine’s Day gifts for your children, nieces, and nephews!

Spritz Cookie Valentine Hearts Gift BoxThe Spritz Cookie Valentine Hearts Gift Box is an assortment of homemade spritz almond cookies by Cookies from Scratch. Enjoy 4 dozen delicious, heart-shaped spritz cookies in a variety of bright colors. Cookies are packaged in an attractive gift box with a clear lid to peek at all the cookies. A perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!


Packers Love Dress - Preschool

This Green Bay Packers Love Dress for preschool girls has Packers Love and the Packers logo screen printed on the front. The green drop waist dress has gold stitched trim, a gold bow, single button and loop closure at the back, and cap style sleeves. The Packers Love Dress is available in preschool sizes.


Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift BagThe Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag from Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge is a great gift for an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. Give that special someone a real “chocolate kiss” with these lip-sized smooches. Choose from all milk chocolate, all white chocolate, all dark chocolate, or an assortment of all three varieties. The one pound Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag includes 21 pieces of gourmet chocolate candy, each individually wrapped and all 21 attractively packaged in a see-through bag tied with a festive bow.

Chocolate Eclairs

choc-eclairsHave you ever had a chocolate éclair?  When I was a child, it was one of my favorite savory treats. My mother bought them from a local bakery. Well, I finally found the scrumptious chocolate éclair I remember from my childhood. We had these tasty treats in the office and we were all surprised at how sinfully delicious they were. And the size of them…. Well, they were so big we were cutting them in half, but some of us went back for more because they were sooo…yummy!

And Paula Deen’s comment: “These sinfully delicious Chocolate Éclairs from O & H Bakery are sure to be a delightful treat. Enjoy eight huge freshly baked, crispy light pastry shells packed full of cool butter-sweetened custard crème and covered with a thick layer of smooth chocolate icing.”

We thought we would share our experience about these absolutely sinful chocolate eclair treats that you can enjoy anytime of year. O & H Bakery has perfected their recipe and, I mean, truly they are perfect. In addition, they know how to pack and ship the éclairs so they arrive fresh and ready to serve!

Or you can make them yourself – there are plenty of recipes out there, but nothing can beat the convenience of ordering and shipping them right to your door.


Salty and Sweet: Opposites Attract

Salty and sweet snacks are some of my favorite foods, and I have a theory about why. The foods that taste the best have contrast. For example:

Chips and Dip- crunchy and creamy

Brownie Sundaes- cold ice cream and hot brownie

Anything salty and sweet!

Next time you’re looking for a fabulous Wisconsin treat, consider some of these salty and sweet foods:

Vanilla Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies – We know our dairy in Wisconsin, so you can bet the buttercream filling in these homemade Whoopie Pies tastes outstanding. Enjoy the salty and sweet combination of vanilla and salted caramel or try other fun whoopie pie flavors like mint chocolate or red velvet.


Chocolate Turtle Terrapins – When you hear about Kohler, Wisconsin you probably think of golf, not chocolate. This will change once you try salty and sweet chocolate turtle terrapins by Kohler Chocolates. The chefs at the American Club decided to make the best turtle terrapin in the world. When the staff and guests taste tested the chef’s creations, they agreed it was the best turtle they had ever tasted. Kohler Chocolates have a limited distribution, but you can find them on


Sea Salt Caramels – The sea salt caramels are the only salty and sweet treat that made my list that actually has visible salt on top, but don’t worry, these decadent caramels have just the right amount of salty to sweet ratio. Hand crafted by the candy experts of Sweettrio in Grafton, Wisconsin these dark and milk chocolate caramels make a perfect gift for any caramel fan.


Gourmet Trail Mix -Another regional favorite food in Wisconsin is cranberries. In fact, we prefer dried cranberries in our trail mix instead of the traditional raisins. This gourmet trail mix by Urban Processing puts your average store tail mix to shame. In fact, Wisconsin brides like to leave bags of it as snacks for out of town guests during their wedding.




Cheesemaker Sid Cook Reveals Source of Cheese Inspiration

A cheesemaker, like most artists, can take inspiration from anywhere. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Master Cheesemaker and artisan Sid Cook reveals the inspiration behind two of his award winning varieties- Cranberry Chipotle and Cocoa Cardona.

Cranberry Chipotle Cheesemaker

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.*



CheesemakerCocoa Cardona


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


What is Sweetest Day?

What is Sweetest Day? According to American Greetings, 44% of people surveyed think Sweetest Day is just another made-up holiday to sell more cards and gifts.  I’m surprised that 44% of people even know Sweetest Day exists. I had never heard of the holiday until my brother’s girlfriend from Ohio explained it to me- and it makes sense that she introduced me to Sweetest Day, since it originated in Ohio.

The true origins of Sweetest Day, according to Sandy Mitchell at, are much more, well, sweet than the old “Halmark made it up” story lets on.  Mitchell says the holiday was started by Herbert Birch Kingston of Cleveland during the Great Depression. Kingston wanted to do something thoughtful for the less fortunate, so he gave out thousands of boxes of candy throughout the city.  Residents of Cleveland began to recreate the tradition yearly, and word spread throughout Ohio and later to other areas of the United States.

In 2012, Sweetest Day will be celebrated on October 20th. Made up or not, if you are lucky enough to have a sweetie, it’s always a good day to celebrate.  Here are a few sweet gift ideas from

For a sweetie as lovely as a rose, chocolate roses.

Chocolate Rose















For a sweetie who Backs the Pack, a Packer Chocolate Gift Box:
Packer Chocolate Gift Box

















For an artistic sweetie, hand-painted Kohler chocolates:

Kohler Chocolate Ganache








Visit for more sweet gifts for Sweetest Day!



Top 5 Edible Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

50th Anniversary Cookies With all of the buzz about the royal wedding, everyone here at WisconsinMade has been thinking about wedding anniversary gifts by year.  This tradition involves giving a gift based on the type of gift assigned to each year- 1st is paper, 2nd is cotton, 3rd is leather and so on. When creating the new anniversary gifts by year section of our website, we realized how much fun it can be to get creative with anniversary gifts.  For example, the 2nd year anniversary is china… how about sending the happy couple a gift card to their favorite chinese restaurant?  Here are some more food related wedding anniversary gift ideas.

1) Cookbook- 1st Anniversary- Paper-  Not exactly edible, but it can lead to some tasty edibles! One of my favorites is the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook which is filled with recipes that use the fruits and veggies of the season.

2) Candy Apples- 4th Anniversary – Fruit- A fruit basket is a nice gift, but cover that fruit with chocolate, caramel, nuts and candies and you have an AMAZING gift.  Check out these decadent creations by Amy’s Apples for inspiration.

3) Cow Pies- 6th Anniversary – Chocolate- You can go two ways with this one.  Handpainted Kohler chocolates will impress even a royal couple like Will & Kate, but if your friends are a pair of fun loving, cow-tipping, goofy Wisconsinites, they might appreciate some chocolate cow pies. Cheesehead Gift Basket

4) Popcorn Tin- 10th Anniversary- Tin- This is another non-edible gift category that a little creativity can turn into a tasty treat. Give a tin full of popcorn.  Popcorn tins come in many different designs from hearts to sports teams so it will be easy to find one that fits your couples unique personality.

5) Packer Snacks – 50th Anniversary – Gold – In Wisconsin, when you hear gold, you think green and gold! Go Pack Go! After fifty years of watching Packer games together,  what gift could be more perfect than a gift basket in a cheesehead? Ok, MAYBE Super Bowl tickets…

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