Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheese Tour Part 3 of 4: Hooked on Hook's Cheese

After our stop in Monroe, we boarded the big, fancy tour bus (did I mention the bus is something like rock stars take on tour?!) and headed to Mineral Point.

We stopped at Hook’s Cheese Company, which is fairly compact creamy that actually has caves, cut into the side of the hill, where some of the cheese is cooled.

Hook’s has been around since 1952 and produces a world-champion Colby variety. The creamery gets its milk from the same farmers it has for 36 years, all of whom run small dairy farms. Other varieties Hook’s is known for include a Blue Paradise and 10- and 12-year-old cheddars (watch for a 20-year-old cheddar in 2015!). We got to feast our eyes on a peculiar cheese called Stinky Fottene, which translates to stinky feet in Norwegian. It is, as you might imagine, stinky.
Tony Hook gave us a tour of the creamery, even giving us a peek into the 16-foot underground cave. We also got to tour a huge cooler with a vast amount of cheese. And then, of course, we got to taste. They had so many types of cheese out for us to taste, it was fantastic.  

They were all great, but I particularly liked the Blue Paradise, Little Boy Blue and 15-year-old cheddar. Of course, we got to try the cheese curds, too, which were fantastic and super squeaky.
While we didn’t pick up any cheese to take with us from the creamery, we did visit the Hook’s booth at the Dane County Farmer’s Market and picked up some pesto curds.

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