Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
Franklin (WI) where I live is one of the locations in the state for the Milwaukee Burger Company restaurants. The place comes as advertised.
Want cheese on that burger? You’ll have plenty of options.
American, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce, Bleu, Bleu Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Swiss.
Nice to have so many choices.
I checked other restaurants named by Thrillist as having the best burgers in Wisconsin to see if they said cheese.
Oscar’s Pub & Grille in Milwaukee sure does: American, White or Yellow cheddar, Havarti, Swiss, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Boursin, Chipotle Jack, and Smoked Gouda.
Monk’s Bar & Grill in WI Dells: American, Wisconsin Cheddar, Swiss, Smoked Gouda, Pepperjack, Bleu cheese crumbles or Mozzarella cheese.
Kroll’s in Green Bay: Sharp American, PepperJack, Swiss, and Mozzarella.
No, cheeseburgers are not being frowned upon this week. But are any of the restaurants missing anything perhaps?
None of them offer Colby cheese. In fact it’s difficult to find Colby cheese on any menu in the Badger State (though I’m sure it’s out there.
So what’s wrong with Colby? Not a thing. So what gives, Kev?
This past week state Senator Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie) and Representative Donna Rozar (R-Marshfield) introduced a bill to name Colby cheese Wisconsin’s State Cheese. The authors issued a statement:
“Colby began as a farm family recipe dreamed up by a young man on the floor of his father’s small wooden cheese factory. Today, it has gone on to become world-famous and one of America’s most popular cheeses. Colby was real innovation – its inventive processing led to breakthroughs in cheesemaking that have truly changed cheese and put Wisconsin on the cheesemaking map. This bill celebrates that history and innovation, but it’s about more than just cheese – it’s a reminder that just one small person from one small place can take an idea and change history – even cheese history.”
Coming from Bernier and Rozar, this bill makes perfect sense in that both represent the City of Colby in Clark and Marathon counties – the birthplace of Colby cheese. Wisconsin now has 28 official state symbols.
Reaction to such a proposal like Colby cheese can get rather stinky. Doesn’t matter if the suggestion that of other state symbols came from school kids studying Wisconsin history or state government. Cries of “Don’t they have anything better to do?” are common.
When I worked for now-retired state Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) we heard plenty of criticism when she authored a bill that was approved and signed into law designating an official state tartan as sought by the Saint Andrew’s Society of Milwaukee.
If Wisconsin can have a state song, ballad, waltz, dance, beverage, tree, grain, flower, bird, fish, animal, domestic animal, wildlife animal, dog, insect, fossil, mineral, rock, soil, and tartan, then why not a state cheese? Problem is that’s like asking what should be our state pizza.
Wisconsin has nearly 1,200 licensed cheesemakers that produce more than 600 styles and varieties of cheese — nearly double the number of any other state. Choosing the official cheese would open Pandora’s Box. arguments could be made for numerous other varieties besides Colby. I do take issue with the legislators’ claim that Colby is one of the country’s most popular cheeses.
This one might be too difficult to single. Pick my favorite Beatles’ song? Hell if I know. State cheese? Is this like Baskin-Robbins? Do I get 31 possibilities?
Given that two Republicans are the authors and the GOP controls the Legislature I suspect the bill will at least get a public hearing. Otherwise, because we have so many outstanding cheeses, when it’s time to “Say Colby,” the answer will probably be no.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES