Every state in the U.S. has its own special traditions, cuisine, and culture. In Wisconsin, a lot of those things involve cheese! Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state in area in the union and has a population of just under 7 million people. Madison is the state capital and Milwaukee its biggest city. It is bordered by Lake Michigan to the east and the Mississippi River to the west, with hardwood and coniferous forests, thousands of glacial lakes, rich farmland, and sandstone formations in between.
Wisconsin is known across the country as “America’s Dairyland” for good reason. It leads the country in cheese production and is second only to California in milk production. Though the economy is also driven by manufacturing, particularly of paper products, tourism, and healthcare, agriculture is what defines the state, and much of the Midwest, in the hearts of its citizens. Wisconsinites are proud of their dairy culture, wearing the popular “cheesehead” hats at football games and other events and producing a wide variety of common and exotic cheeses, as well as those quirky, squeaky fresh cheese curds!
Here is what Sarah from Germany and Margot from France’s host mom had to say about the girls’ introduction to the unique culture of the Midwest.
Life is an adventure, and we have experienced many firsts in Wisconsin, including becoming cheeseheads and Packer backers! Sarah and Margot tasted their first cheese curds at the Minnesota State Fair and chocolate cheese (yes—chocolate cheese!) at the Cady Cheese Factory—it was good! The girls have also met Sharky at the Mall of America, laughed over unusual signs in the hospital parking lot, and tried on costumes to be in their first small-town parade.
Lots of fun in the Midwest!
—Nancy Cleveland (WI) host mom of Sarah (Germany) and Margot (France)