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Ashland – Oct. 2017
Visit Vancouver USA – Oct. 2017
Olympic Peninsula – Oct. 2017

Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese

Wisconsin Artisan Cheese.

Realfoodtraveler is all about authentic regional and artisan foods and nothing fits that description better than Wisconsin’s award-winning Crave Brothers cheeses.

Cheese circles stacked near grapes
Their product line is truly “farmstead,” they raise and produce everything — from the forage of corn, alfalfa, and soybeans they feed to their Holstein cows, to the milk and the cheeses the make right on their farm in Waterloo, Wisconsin. They do it all in a sustainable, earth-friendly way and we love the fact that they’re dedicated to “cow comfort.”

Crave Brothers Farm has operated since 1978. Back in 1999, the family talked about ways to grow their business. They decided to produce high-quality specialty cheese with milk from their dairy cows. Two years later, they built their cheese factory. Now, farm fresh milk is piped within hours of milking directly to the cheese factory. The result is incredibly fresh farmstead cheese.

Les Frères. RFT editors tried the smaller version of their wash rind, soft cheese, the Petit Frère, 8 ounces sold in a wooden box. This cheese, which we served slightly warmed with crusty French bread, is silky smooth with an intriguing earthy flavor and a tang that lingers on the tongue. If you want a stronger flavor, allow this cheese to ripen for a few weeks.

Mozzarella cheese coiled into a rope

The string cheese, mozzarella that’s coiled into a rope, is fun to eat and has just the right chewiness.

Mascarpone. This cheese is Italy’s version of cream cheese only richer and more complex. Crave Brothers’ Mascarpone is wonderfully fresh and clean tasting with a nice creamy mouth feel. We used the mascarpone with Debbie Crave’s Chocolate Mascarpone Pie, which is essentially melted chocolate and mascarpone in a chocolate wafer crumb crust (see RFT recipes). We found the mascarpone made this easy dessert silky and not-too-sweet.

Fresh Mozzarella. This isn’t the typical mozzarella you find in the supermarket. Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella sings freshness. It has the perfect balance of softness and chewy firmness. We used cubes of the mozzarella in a cucumber, avocado, and orange salad and the cheese picked up the other flavors beautifully and tied this salad together.

Farmers Rope String Cheese. This fresh handmade deli string cheese is shaped like a coil of rope and makes “strings” when pulled apart. Again, this isn’t the tasteless string cheese you may be familiar with. This creamy cheese has just the right tooth to it and it’s really fun to eat.

Mozzarella cheese, cucumber, orange and avocado salad

Crave Brothers Mozzarella added richness to our cucumber, orange, and avocado salad.

Crave Brothers cheeses are available in Wisconsin in a number of local stores. For those who can’t travel to Wisconsin, their products are also available from a number of online shops.

 

Check out their website for a list. wwwcravecheese.com

 

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at realfoodtraveler.com.