MADISON – Are you ready to “Taste Wisconsin” this summer? Wisconsin’s fairs and festivals season is here. This brings a bounty of delicious foods and flavors to tempt your taste buds, everything from protein packed food “on-a-stick” to a sweet treat or two.
Rochelle Ripp, the 65th Alice in Dairyland, will be traveling the state highlighting the Wisconsin agricultural flavors that can be sampled at Wisconsin fairs and festivals.
“Wisconsin has a variety of foods and flavors we are known for – cheese, sauerkraut, specialty meats, cherries and berries and a whole lot more,” said Ripp. “Wisconsin agriculture has something for everyone.”
For example, it wouldn’t be a fair without something “on-a-stick”. A favorite is a pork chop on-a- stick, served up by the Wisconsin Pork Producers Association. One pork chop serving is a great way to get protein into your diet. One chop has more than 20 grams of protein and can be paired with some great Wisconsin cranberry chutney or horseradish.
Fresh or fried, these bite-sized squeaky treats are a hit! Cheese curds are a fair and festival favorite. Cheddar or mozzarella, Wisconsin has over 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese to enjoy. It takes ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. A gallon of milk weighs about eight pounds, so that’s just a little over one gallon of milk.
What starts in a field quickly transforms into a light snack over a stove or in a microwave – popcorn. Toss in a little Wisconsin butter, sprinkle with a bit of salt, or flavor with cheese or maple syrup, and you have a treat that is sure to make your mouth ‘pop’ this summer. There are two types of popcorn – snowflake and mushroom – which are named because of their shape. Snowflake popcorn is what we find at fairs and festivals; mushroom popcorn is used with flavorings because it is a sturdier type.
You haven’t been to the fair until you’ve had your cream puff. The Original Cream Puff® is a summer staple at the Wisconsin State Fair. The cream puff shell is filled with dairy goodness. In 2011, the Wisconsin State Fair Park Dairy Bakery sold 355,478 cream puffs and set a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Cream Puff,” weighing in at 125.6 pounds! New this year, the State Fair cream puff box will feature the Something Special from Wisconsin™ logo.
Maple sugar cotton candy is a fun, fluffy finale on your taste buds. Made from pure, natural, granulated sugars tapped from our Wisconsin maple trees and sugar bushes, this is a sweet reminder of summer fun. Marathon County claims the title as the highest maple syrup producing county in Wisconsin.
“I encourage you to get out and ‘Taste Wisconsin’ at the fairs and festivals this summer,” concluded Ripp. “Buying Wisconsin products is a great way to support our local farmers, communities, economies, and our Wisconsin way of life.”
Alice in Dairyland is Wisconsin’s agriculture ambassador. She travels over 40,000 miles each year to spread the word about our diverse agriculture industry. Alice in Dairyland can be reached by writing to Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), 2811 Agriculture Drive, PO Box 8911, Madison, WI 53718. You can schedule Alice for an upcoming event by contacting the Alice in Dairyland Program at 608.224.5115 or by e-mail at DATCPAlice@wisconsin.gov. To learn more about Wisconsin’s $59 billion agricultural industry visit her travel blog at www.wisconsinagconnection.com/alice or become a friend on Facebook (Alice Dairyland), follow on Twitter (Alice_Dairyland) or LinkedIn (Alice in Dairyland).