Monday, April 27, 2009

Time to Get Cheesy in Madison

Another springtime rite is here: the Dane County Farmers' Market, which overtakes Madison, Wisconsin's Capitol Square every Saturday from 6am to 2pm through early November.

It's the USA's largest producer-only market, which means the 150 vendors have personally grown or made the goods they're selling. Cheese and fresh vegetables are the most plentiful wares, but meats (bison and free-range emu, among others), flowers, maple syrup, and eggs also fill the stalls.

Keep your eyes peeled for one man in particular: Willi Lehner of Bleu Mont Dairy, who makes fantastic cheeses in his wind- and solar-powered cheese bunker, but in limited quantities. The farmers' market is your best chance to get your hands on his creations. If you miss him though, you can fill in the dairy gaps at Fromagination, just around the corner at 12 S Carroll St in Madison. It carries small-batch and hard-to-find local artisanal cheeses, as well as loads of information on wine and cheese (and beer and cheese) pairings.

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