Specialty Cheese

Surprise me, specialty cheese

Ah, the joy of specialty cheese. It's the cheese you know and love, but with special attention being paid to flavor and texture. These cheeses are often made in a limited number or smaller batches. Think aged romano with black peppercorns or feta with tomato and basil. Specialty cheese can also be a cheese that only comes around once in a while, like a 10-year aged cheddar, or a cheese that is just plain different, like a Juustaleipa (or bread cheese if you prefer layman's terms).

in Wisconsin, you'll find tons of specialty cheese because cheese is, well, our specialty. We produce more flavors, styles, and varieties than anywhere else on earth – 600 and counting. And our cheesemakers are constantly pushing the boundaries of what cheese can be. (Cheese curds with Cajun spices anyone?) So, next time you're looking for something special for your weekend feast, cheese charcuterie platter, or just an afternoon snack, look for specialty cheese from Wisconsin.

Our specialty cheese standouts

Some of our favorite Wisconsin specialty cheeses include;

  • A 10-year extra sharp cheddar: an aged cheddar with rich flavor, a tangy bite, and a firm, granular and crumbly texture.
  • Beerkaese: a salted and surface-ripened Germanic cheese that resembles its cousin, brick cheese.
  • Aged brick: a tangy and pungent cousin to the stronger and more pungent limburger.
  • Cajun curds: cheddar cheese curds coated with spicy and flavorful Cajun seasoning
  • Smoked cheddar cheese: smoked over a hickory fire for a distinct smoky cheese flavor.
  • Monterey jack cheese: with ghost peppers and habaneros, a spicy take on a spicy cheese.
  • Juustoleipa: this "bread cheese" is a buttery baked cheese that forms a tasty crust when baked.
  • Bellavitano Merlot: a rich and creamy cross between an aged cheddar and a full-flavored parmesan.
  • Havarti with horseradish and chive: a smooth, buttery cheese with a kick.
  • Hispanic-style cheeses: like cotija, oaxaca, queso fresco, and queso quesadilla.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: what is specialty cheese?

What is specialty cheese?

Specialty cheese is a cheese with limited production and is often made with additional flavorings such as nuts, fruit, spices, and herbs to create interesting flavor profiles.

What is specialty cheese versus artisan cheese?

Using the traditional techniques and tools of cheesemaking rather than relying on machines and mechanized processes. Some artisan cheeses may be specialty cheeses, and vice-versa.

What is specialty cheese versus farmstead cheese?

A farmstead cheese is made on a farm exclusively with the milk from the farmer's herd of cows, goats, or flock of sheep.

Wisconsin: the home of specialty cheese

In Wisconsin, almost one-half of the cheese made in Wisconsin is specialty cheese. And when you consider that Wisconsin makes 3.42 billion pounds of cheese a year, well, that's a mountain of specialty cheese.

It all comes down to the pioneering spirit that brought so many cheesemakers to Wisconsin in the first place. They arrived with little more than the recipes from their homeland in their pockets, seeking a better life, and in the process, they invented new and better ways of making cheese.

Today, our 1,200 licensed cheesemakers have the same passion for new horizons in flavor and texture, and they're constantly innovating new varieties of specialty cheese.

So, next time you want to take a taste adventure of your own, look for a specialty cheese with the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese ™ badge on the label. And fasten your seatbelts, because it's going to be a flavorful ride.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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