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Cuisine of Wisconsin facts for kids

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"Cheesehead" fans of the Green Bay Packers football team come out in droves with their head gear and bratwursts to support the team in Green Bay, Wisconsin LCCN2011631283
"Cheesehead" fans of the Green Bay Packers football team with bratwursts

The cuisine of Wisconsin is a type of midwestern cuisine found throughout the state of Wisconsin in the United States of America. Known as "America's Dairyland", Wisconsin is famous for its cheese and cheese products, such as cheese curds, and dairy products, such as frozen custard. Other notable foods common to the region include bratwursts, beer and Old Fashioned cocktails, butter burgers, fish fries and fish boils, and booyah stew.


Wisconsin is home to numerous frozen custard stands, particularly around Milwaukee, Wisconsin and along the Lake Michigan corridor. Frozen custard is a dessert similar to ice cream that is also made with eggs.

Ice cream

Wisconsin is one of the midwestern states that commonly sells blue moon ice cream. While the flavor's origins are not well documented, it was most likely developed by flavor chemist Bill "Doc" Sidon of Milwaukee. The flavor is described to be similar to Froot Loops.

At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Babcock Dairy Plant and Store produces and sells ice cream, milk, and cheese products on campus. Babcock ice cream uses beef gelatin as its stabilizing agent, making the majority of its flavors non-vegetarian.

Scratch Ice Cream is a small-batch brand of ice cream founded in Milwaukee. Scratch Ice Cream can also be found in Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois.


Fried Cheese Curds Green Bay Wisconsin

The state is well known as a home to many cheesemakers. Currently, Wisconsin boasts 58 Master Cheesemakers, who are all qualified through an extensive process set by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The program is the only one of its kind outside of Europe.

However, Wisconsin cheesemaking is even more diverse, ranging from artisans who hand-craft their product from the milk of their own dairy herds to large factories. Colby cheese was first created in Wisconsin in 1885 (named after the town it came from), and Brick cheese was first created in the state in 1877. The state has also played origin to Blue Marble Jack cheese, and is the only producer of Limburger cheese in the United States.

Cheese curds can be eaten separately "squeaky," or cold, as a snack, or covered in batter and fried as an appetizer, often served with ranch dressing as a dipping sauce.

Hot and spicy cheese bread is a popular type of bread created and sold in Madison, Wisconsin from Stella's Bakery.

Bratwurst and sausage

Wisconsin cuisine also features a large amount of sausage, or wurst (German for "sausage"). The state is also a major producer and consumer of summer sausage, as well as the nation's top producer and consumer of brats.

Brats are typically boiled in a mix of beer, butter, and onions, served on a bratwurst bun, and topped with sauerkraut and often a spicy, brown-style mustard. The city of Madison, Wisconsin, the state's capital, plays host to the annual "World's Largest" Brat Fest, a four-day-long festival incorporating music, recreational activities, and of course bratwursts grilled on a 65-foot-long grill.

At American Family Field in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin's deep affection for sausage plays out in the Sausage Race, a mascot race involving racing sausage mascots representative of some of the most common sausages found in the state: bratwurst, kielbasa, Italian sausage, the hot dog, and chorizo. Venison sausage, Andouille sausage, and Belgian trippe (pork and cabbage sausage) are a few other common sausages found in the state, though they do not constitute a part of the Sausage Race. American Family Field is also notable for being the only U.S. stadium in which brats outsell hot dogs.


Kringle, the official state pastry

A popular Wisconsin dessert is the cream puff, a type of profiterole that is a famous treat at the Wisconsin State Fair.

The southeastern Wisconsin city of Racine is known for its Danish kringle, a sweet flaky pastry often served as a dessert. The recipe was brought by Danish immigrants to the region in the 1800s. The kringle became the official state pastry of Wisconsin on June 30, 2013.

Chef Carson Gulley created a fudge-bottom pie recipe at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that is still sold on campus.

Simply Cinnamon Bakery in Pewaukee, Wisconsin is known for their cinnamon rolls.


Seymour, Wisconsin, claims to be the birthplace of the modern hamburger, although several other locations make similar claims. The butter burger originated in Wisconsin, most likely in Solly's Grille in Milwaukee. Butter burgers are hamburgers with butter spread on the buns.

Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison is the largest producers-only farmer's market in the nation.

Culver's is a midwest fast casual food restaurant chain originally from Sauk City, Wisconsin and currently headquartered in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Culver's is known for serving butter burgers and frozen custard.

La Croix Sparkling Water originates from La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Booyah stew

Booyah spiced
Booyah seasoned with peas, granulated vegetables and chicken

Booyah is another very common and hearty Wisconsin meal, found especially in the Northeast region of the state. The origins of this dish are disputed, but the Wisconsin origin contends that the word is a vernacular Flemish or Walloon Belgian spelling of the French word bouillon, in this context meaning "broth." Recipes vary but common ingredients usually involve chicken or other meats—beef, pork, or ox tail are most often used—as well as a mirepoix of vegetables, commonly onion, celery, carrots, cabbage, peas, potatoes, and rutabaga. The ingredients are all cooked together in a special kind of large, cast-iron kettle often known as a "booyah kettle," over low heat for several days.

Fish fry and fish boil

The Friday night fish fry, often battered and fried perch or walleye, is traditional throughout Wisconsin, while in northeast Wisconsin along Lake Michigan and the Door County the fish boil is more popular. The supper club is another common phenomenon of Wisconsin culinary heritage and often a destination for fish frys, which usually feature a portion of aforementioned fish, along with various sides: a fried food such as french fries and onion rings are common, along with condiments of tartar sauce and cole slaw (especially crimson slaw, a variety of cole slaw that incorporates Wisconsin's cranberries) and garnishes of parsley and lemon wedges.

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