Here at the Viroqua Food Coop, we have a versatile and outstanding selection of cheese to satisfy even the most experienced cheese connoisseur. Our domestic cheese selection offers handcrafted specialty cheeses from dozens of artisan Wisconsin cheesemakers: Carr Valley, Capri Cheesery, Westby Cooperative Creamery, Marieke Dutch-style Gouda, Hidden Springs Creamery, Cedar Grove Organic Cheese, Castle Rock Organic Dairy, Dreamfarm – this list goes on and on and on. In fact, Wisconsin has more skilled and licensed cheesemakers than any other state. These cheesemakers must complete rigorous studies in dairy science and cheesemaking before they can be licensed! By the 1920s, over 2,800 cheese factories existed in the state. Wisconsin also became the first state to grade its cheese for quality in 1921. Today, approximately 13,000 dairy farms exists in Wisconsin. Cheesemakers use approximately 90 percent of this milk to produce cheese.
As unique and illustrious as these local cheesemakers are, there are many outstanding imported cheeses to choose from at our store, as well! My favorite has always been the Dutch Goudas … no place else on the planet creates more flavorful, complex goudas than Holland. Ditto with our selection of brie varieties from France, in particular: try the Belletoile Triple-Cream Brie with a bit of Organic raspberry jam of your choice; you’re in for a delectable treat. Of course, we carry many other staple artisan cheeses from overseas, as well: Parmigainno Reggianno – the King Of Italian Cheeses, Manchego – a Spanish sheep cheese that made the region of La Mancha famous, Switzerland’s truly unique Jarlsberg sweet swiss, and of course – authentic goatmilk Gjetost from Norway.
In addition, you will find that we are quite open to cheese requests. If your favorite cheese isn’t available on our shelves, let us know and we will do our best to get in for you – no questions asked! Cheese makes the adventure of nutritious eating the complete delight it was meant to be.
“Life is great. Cheese makes it better.”
Cole Meredith, Cheese Buyer