Nearly everyone knows that Wisconsin is responsible for a wonderful range of cheeses, from mellow Colby to creamy Gouda, pungent Blue Affinee to buttery Alpha’s Morning Sun, squeaky cheese curds to brick cheese, melted to perfection on a grill cheese sandwich. I mean really, the nickname “Cheesehead” doesn’t come easily. But beyond a delectable mouthful of sharp cheddar, or a scoop of ice cream, there’s an additional range of dairy products available to make your life more pleasant, from ice cold milk to golden butter and Wisconsin favorite, frozen custard. Find in big cities like Milwaukee, Madison or Green Bay a bounty of ethnic eats and a very long list of breweries, a win-win combination for any traveler fond of eating and drinking generally.
Though people from around the globe now make their home in Wisconsin, there’s something to be said for the state’s German heritage, the nationality responsible for bratwurst’s popularity in these parts - try it simmered first in beer, than tossed on a grill. Expect to eat yours on a Brat bun (not to be confused with a hot dog bun) or a Sheboygan hard roll with Dusseldorf or Dijon mustard (do not even think about using yellow mustard) and chopped onions, sauerkraut and ketchup as desired.
Other Wisconsin staples include beef and potatoes, but to get yours in a true down-home Wisconsin atmosphere, look for a local supper club, the place to dine casually on a fish fry come Friday night, or prime rib on Saturday. For drinks, mosey on over to a nearby tavern (of which there are more per capita here than in any other state) and try to fit in over a brandy drink like the Old-Fashioned (topped here with mushrooms or fruit). Designated drivers will want to order a “soda”, not “pop”, or risk exposing their cultural ignorance. And finally, though beer making across the state isn’t what it used to be during the biergarten heyday, there are still plenty of places (taverns included) to sample local brews, from Capital Brewery in Middleton to Leinenkugel’s, a historic beer maker from Chippewa Falls, also known as the “official beer of the Friday fish fry”, either good for a glimpse of the gemuetlichkeit that accompanies a few rounds.