Discover Wisconsin “America’s Dairyland--Curds and Whey” starring Wisconsin’s most beloved appetizer, premieres this Saturday and Sunday
“Curds and Whey,” produced in partnership with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) and Discover Wisconsin, airs locally this Saturday at 10 a.m. on FSN North. This episode also airs this Sunday at 5 p.m. on WQOW-TV, channel 18, Eau Claire.
“The cheese curd is a quintessential Wisconsin food that is enjoyed by people everywhere so we decided to take a closer look at what a cheese curd is, why it squeaks and why it is loved by so many,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, director of Local Market Communications for WMMB. "If you remember the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme, curds and whey go hand-in-hand, so we’re also taking a close look at whey, one of the by-products of cheese-making.”
The episode begins with hosts Collin Geraghty and Mariah Haberman trekking the state to learn how cheese curds are created. Geraghty makes his first stop at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in Ellsworth, largely regarded as the “Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin.”
After touring the plant to learn how Wisconsin milk is turned into fresh Wisconsin cheese curds, he heads to his next stop: Cedar Valley Cheese in Belgium, a company as well-known for fresh string cheese as its fresh cheddar curd offering on Fridays.
Tapping into the popularity of cheese curds, the show also features the American Cheese Society’s first-ever cheese curd judging contest and seminar held this summer in Madison. While in the capital city, the Discover Wisconsin crew explores the topic of cheese curds with Jessica Wartenweiler, co-owner of the Curd Girl food cart.
Haberman starts her deep-fried adventure at the Wisconsin State Fair, where she chats with fair-goers waiting in line for their orders of Wisconsin cheese curds. She journeys west to La Crosse to seek out a restaurant known for stepping outside of the cheese curd box. There, she finds Josh Pogreba, owner of Pogreba Restaurant, where the chefs wrap bacon around their sought-after deep-fried finger food. Haberman attests for the appeal of Pogreba’s bacon-wrapped cheese curds while Geraghty taste-tests Brie cheese curds at Pier Five Hundred in his hometown of Hudson.
Upon sampling fresh and fried cheese curds across the Dairy State, Geraghty and Haberman decide to dive into the world of whey. Haberman heads to Mullins Cheese in Mosinee for a tour of the whey processing facility. Along the way, she learns more about how whey is processed and its uses. Geraghty, meanwhile, meets with K.J. Burrington at the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research in Madison, who breaks down the components of whey.
Haberman brings the show to a close with special stops at the Great Dane in Wausau and AJ Bombers in Madison to try various versions of poutine, a dish originating in Canada and made with French fries, gravy and cheese curds.
“There’s so much diversity in this show, which I love,” said Haberman.
Geraghty added, “From traditional creameries to an advanced research center, it was exciting to learn about both the scientific aspect whilst sampling versions of one of my all-time favorite foods!”
For more information, visit EatWisconsinCheese.com.