Monday, April 15, 2013

Cow Pies and Cheese Castles in Wisconsin

Wisconsin embraces its cheesiness with udder dignity. Take the state's most prevalent candy bar: the Cow Pie. The pecan-chunked chocolate mound is modeled after a bovine poo. How many other states have that sort of chutzpah?

Then there's Mars Cheese Castle. It is a real castle (well, a hulking turreted building with faux drawbridge) stocked with 300 types of cheese. Cheddar curds sell best, along with beer-mug-shaped hunks. Cow Pies get lots of shelf space. As do foam-rubber cheese wedge hats. And a giant pie-eyed mouse wearing a cheese wedge hat watches over it all.

You might as well embrace the theme when visiting. These random facts can help:

* The state considered making "Eat Cheese or Die" its official motto.
* Of the 2.6 billion pounds of cheese Wisconsin produces annually, 34% is mozzarella and 21% is cheddar.
* The state law requiring restaurants to put a slice of cheese on apple pie? It's a myth (though Wisconsin did flirt with the idea).

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