Graduation Gifts

Cheese Lovers pick Wisconsin cheese!

For quality, cheese making standards, tradition and taste... It's as good as it gets.

America's Dairyland boasts over 160 years of cheesemaking tradition. From our aged Cheddar to Colby, Gouda, and Buttery Baby Swiss, every Wisconsin cheese gift showcases our pride and expertise.

Gifts of Nature helped create America's Dairyland!
The History of Cheese making in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is resource rich, thanks to the glaciers that pushed through the state thousands of years ago, creating a countryside of rolling hills and rich pasture land. Fresh, crystal clear water was plentiful also, and the stage was set for settlers. The first settlers were European, and in the 1800s they began farming wheat, but as wheat crops failed they discovered that the land was perfect for dairy farming, and they set to work.

From dairy production it was just a short step to cheese making to preserve the fresh milk. Many of the farmers made cheese in the Old World, and they used these skills in their cottage industries. Check out these important steps along the path to making Wisconsin into America's Dairyland:

  • The first known cheese making business in Wisconsin was created by Mrs. Anne Pickett near Lake Mills in 1841. She used neighbors' milk to create her homemade cheese.
  • The first full-scale cheese factory was founded by Hiram Smith in 1859. He processed farmers' milk for a percentage of the cheese made from it, or he purchased milk to make the cheese.
  • People laughed at Chester Hazen when he built a large factory for cheese making in Ladoga, WI in 1864, however in just one year he was processing the milk from 300 cows.
  • In 1890, Stephen Babcock of the University of Wisconsin developed a milk fat test to determine which cows produce the richest milk. The test is still used today!
  • In the 1890s, the University of Wisconsin in Madison began classes in cheese making.
  • Wisconsin became the first state to grade its cheese for quality in 1921.
  • The large numbers of cheese factories in Wisconsin (2,800 by the 1920s), the standardization of quality, and the state's central location led to Wisconsin being dubbed America's Dairyland in the 1930s.
  • In 1944, a federal cheese inspector named John Figi decided to make Wisconsin cheese available to folks across America. Find out about Figi's beginnings and the Legend of the Little Red Wagon

Top 5 Wisconsin Cheese Gifts

Classic Aged Cheddar

1. Classic Aged Cheddar
Savor the sharp, rich flavor that only comes with time; this distinctive cheese is aged a minimum of 18 months. It's our customers' favorite!

Natural Cheese Collection - 4-Pack

2. Natural Cheese Collection - 4-Pack
Enjoy Wisconsin Cheddar, Colby, Brick, and Edam Cheeses… a fantastic variety of Wisconsin's classic cheeses. Great for a cheese tray!
Wisconsin Colby Cheese 3. Wisconsin Colby Cheese
Colby is the perfect choice for those who prefer a mild, creamy cheese. First created in Central Wisconsin in 1885 in the town of Colby, this cheese continues to be a Wisconsin favorite.
Certified Wisconsin Cheddar 4. Certified Wisconsin Cheddar
This gift delivers a cheddar wheel trio: Sharp, Medium, and Mild Cheddars. Taste the difference that aging makes and enjoy the great taste of cheddar every step of the way!
Figi’s Favorite Six Packs

5. Figi’s Favorite Six Packs
You'll love this gift for sampling a variety of Wisconsin Cheese choices. Our Cheese Pack contains Pepper, Onion, Vegetable, Bacon, Caraway, and Salami flavored processed cheeses.

The Best Cheese Spreads You Can Buy!

When Wisconsin cheese is your business, it doesn't take long before you discover the incredibly delicious cheese spread that you can create. In 1959, Figi's came out with our Kave Kure Cheese Spread. It's extraordinarily rich and thick for a cheese spread, but what makes it really different from other spreads? It's made with a blend of Wisconsin's fine, aged cheese undiluted by cream cheese or fillers. Plus, the spread is never heated, so the cheese retains genuine flavor.

Creamy Country was developed to treat those with a taste for quality Wisconsin cheese in a wonderfully creamy texture. Creamy Country Cheese Spreads are treated to the same no-heat creation process, and they are whipped to a silky-smooth, easy-to-spread perfection with lots of varieties to try!

So which is better: Kave Kure or Creamy Country?
That depends on your viewpoint. If you want a thick, rich cheese spread, Kave Kure is your best bet. If you like an extra creamy spread, you'll love our Creamy Country.

Creamy Country Cheese Spreads
Creamy Country® Cheese Spreads
$7.49 - $13.99
Wonder what to serve with your cheese? Look it up in our Quick Cheese & Beverage Pairings and check out the video

How to Cut & Store Gourmet Cheese

CUT Your Cheese with Ease
Slice your cheese cold, straight from the refrigerator using a chef's knife. If you are slicing a very hard cheese, you may allow it to warm a little for slicing ease. When you are ready to serve, be sure to cut off dry edges. If any mold has developed, slice it off along with 1/2" of cheese on all sides.
COVER your cheese
The Cheese Stands Alone!
Cheese needs to be protected to keep it from picking up flavors from other foods and to retain moisture. Many people wrap cheese in plastic wrap and it works, however, this is not the best solution. Cheese needs to breathe. Crumple up a paper towel or two, and place them in a covered container larger than the slice of cheese. Put the cheese inside, cover, and refrigerate.
STORE your cheese
Cheese needs to be kept cool; refrigerate between 34° and 38°. Cheeses may be frozen, but it is recommended that a cheese that has been frozen should be used for cooking, as the texture may be altered.

Wisconsin Cheese Tidbits

• Wisconsin wins more cheese awards than any other state or nation in the world.
• Wisconsin produces over 600 cheese varieties.
• There are 11,400 dairy farms in Wisconsin.
• More than 99% of Wisconsin's dairy farms are family owned.

We are Proud to be Cheeseheads!

After all, creating the best tasting cheese is what it's all about!

What could be better than a great Wisconsin cheese gift?
Cheese and Chocolate Together! Check out our Chocolate & Cheese Pairings Guide
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