Mitten state showdown: part bleu

Faithful readers will recall that some of my earliest shopping trips in Michigan involved determining where I could reliably get good cheese.  I can’t help it — having been raised in Wisconsin, it’s in my blood.  But in the interest of pretending to be fair, and following in the style of my beer post, I have been trying to come up with evidence to support my obvious preference for the cheese of my homeland.

Of the 82 categories in this international event, WI cheesemakers placed in the top 3 of 54 categories!

WI took all three top prizes in the 2011 U.S. version of the same competition, although this year we only took the single top prize.  Michigan has a couple makers how consistently show up in four of the 76 categories.

This competition seems to be limited to small- to medium-sized makers, and while WI does not by any means sweep its rivals, it does make a good showing.

And frankly, when this is what it looks like to go cheese shopping in Michigan, I think we can all agree who’s going to win this showdown.

Horrock's in Lansing

Horrock’s in Lansing

We attempted a side-by-side tasting of two seven year cheddars.

Hooks vs. ???

Hooks vs. ???

This is unfair from the start, because Horrock’s does not even label most of their cheeses with a maker.  They were similar, but not indistinguishable.  Hook’s was a little drier and crumblier with a longer lasting bite.

While on a trip back home in February for work, I spent a large chunk of one day’s work on delightful treats to bring home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fromagination sells only cheese made in America’s Dairyland, although you might not guess it from the wide variety available for sampling.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEveryone eats dinner like this, right?

Had to try this one - a cheddar injected with bleu

Had to try this one – a cheddar injected with bleu

Hook's cheddar flight - five, seven, eight, and twelve year

Hook’s cheddar flight – five, seven, eight, and twelve year

So I think the winner of this round is clearly Wisconsin.  I will rejoice in this, as it is acceptable, if only slightly healthier, to each cheese at any time of day.

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