Discover Wisconsin shines the spotlight on Wisconsin restaurants and creameries that produce the iconic cheese curds made throughout the state.
The episode is available to stream on Roku, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV and on DiscoverWisconsin.com. This episode was produced in partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
Among the restaurants and creameries featured is Buck & Honey’s in Monona. Co-host Eric Paulsen kicks off the episode at the Dane County Farmers Market in downtown Madison to get a taste of Hook’s cheese curds. Paulsen then visits Arena Cheese, where he learns the scientific secrets behind cheese curds’ signature squeak. He goes behind the scenes of the curd-making process and gets a sneak peek at how fresh Wisconsin milk becomes the squeaky cheese curds everyone knows and loves.
Paulsen then heads to The Old Fashioned in Madison to savor the fried curds voted Best Cheese Curds in Wisconsin by USA Today. These fresh curds are made from scratch and people travel from far and wide to get a taste of this Madison staple.
The DW crew also visits the Best Cheese Curd runner-up, Curd Girl, a Madison-based food cart that uses Crave Bros. Farmstead Cheese to exclusively specialize in fried cheese curds.
Co-host Mariah Haberman starts her cheese curd sampling at the Pioneer Keg in Theresa. This small town brings big flavor with its award-winning cheese curds that use Widmer’s Brick cheese for an extra creamy flavor. Widmer’s has been creating Wisconsin cheese since 1922, and their legacy includes four generations of cheesemakers. Next, Haberman heads to the Waterfront Hotel in La Crosse to try out one of the most unique cheese curd dipping sauces in the state, the Waterfront’s bloody aioli, a mayonnaise-based sauce inspired by a Bloody Mary.
Cheese curd crawls are becoming popular pastimes across the state, like the annual curd crawl hosted by UW-Madison’s She’s The First organization, a nonprofit that supports girls’ education around the world.
“Of all the fun, quirky and interesting episodes I’ve been lucky enough to host, our cheese curd crawl is definitely one of my new favorites,” Haberman said. “From Milwaukee to Theresa, our crew is thrilled to name 14 Wisconsin establishments official 2020 Discover Wisconsin Choice Destinations.”
Paulsen embarks on his own cheese curd crawl around Milwaukee where local establishments use the fresh curds made at Clock Shadow Creamery. The first stop is at the Iron Horse Hotel for light tempura-battered curds. The next stops on the crawl are Black Sheep Wine Bar for pancake-battered curds served with maple syrup and 42 Ale House for gluten-free curds paired with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce.
Haberman rounds out the episode with a curd crawl of her own throughout Madison starting at Graze, home to curds that combine Hook’s cheese with a vodka tempura batter. Finally, they head to Craftsman Table & Tap, featuring Carr Valley cheese curds, and rounding out their crawl at Buck & Honey’s in Monona.