Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cheese Curds, Cheese Curds, Cheese Curds

Wow...look at the cheddar!  2, 3, 5, 7, 10-year aged! 
What’s the first thing you think about when you think about Wisconsin?  Cheese, of course!  I've been told that the people of Wisconsin are known for their beer and I recently read that Wisconsin is called "America's Dairyland" (who knew?) but I'm guessing most of us have heard the term Cheeseheads?   Think about those people at a sports game with a giant slice of fake cheese on their head.  Yep, that's a loud and proud Cheesehead.   Apparently, historically, it was a negative term used to describe the Dutch but nowadays it's descriptive of anybody from Wisconsin.  Anyway, we pulled into this truck stop/the Sun Rise Restaurant complex an hour into our travel looking for breakfast a few days ago (can't believe we have been on the road 10 days).  It had been kind of foggy/drippy that morning so we packed up and took off before eating.  As you can see from the picture, there was some very delicious-looking, local Wisconsin cheese displayed for sale at this funky trucker store adjacent to the restaurant.   

Lots and lots of cheese curds in lots and lots of flavors

And, we also saw a huge refrigerator bin full of locally Wisconsin-made cheese curds; squeaky cheese curds (say what?).  Who knew there were 870 flavors?  I am kidding but it was like shopping for chips and all the flavors they come in.   In this one case was mango habanero cheese curds, shallot black pepper cheese curds,  bloody mary cheese curds, buffalo wing cheese curds, sassy BBQ cheese curds, ranch cheese curds, horseradish curds, and more!  Given that wide array of choices, Rusty picked plain cheese curds.   I have yet to taste them but he tells me they are indeed squeaky. 

In addition to plain, squeaky cheese curds, we bought  a 5 year-old aged brick of white sharp cheddar (it's was 1/2 the price of the 10-year old) but later thought we should have split our giant breakfast (cheap and huge) and put that money towards purchasing that block of 10-year aged cheddar because, “When are we going to be able to stop for breakfast and buy 10-year old aged Wisconsin cheese again soon?” we regretted as we drove on over the Mississippi River into Minnesota.

Huge Breakfast for two!
About that delicious and very large breakfast for $15.78 that we ate (coffee and tea were only $1.99 for unending cups) at this little Sun Rise Restaurant in Sparta, Wisconsin and the interesting people who live..... Sparta is the bike capital (and it says so right on the cover of the Sun Rise Restaurant menu!), self-proclaimed, by a local who created some really great bike paths (so we were told) in and around town but according to a transplant, see photo of our wonderful tattooed formerly-from-Indiana waitress (Amanda), you actually have to buy a bike license?  Having two young boys who ride bikes, she was somewhat incensed.  “You ever heard of such a thing?  It makes sense to have a fishing license, and I have that but a bike license?"  Amanda looked at us intently, us as she poured another cup of coffee for Ken.  We both agreed that was definitely odd and something we had never heard of and would be resistant to paying, as well.

Amanda from Indiana

 Life on the road is good eats and interesting people! 

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