Come and see Wisconsin's only cheese factory still using real bricks to press their brick cheese. The product is so authentic that we're still using the same bricks John O. Widmer used in 1922. We also manufacture super- aged cheddars and an authentic Colby cheese. Tours are Monday - Friday at 9:30am by appointment only. ** Open Toe Shoes and Jewelry are not permitted when taking a tour. **
Fresh pasteurized milk is heated to begin the cheesemaking process. Starter cultures are added to prepare the milk for the rennet.
Rennet is added to coagulate the milk, forming a texture like yogurt.
Cheesemakers cut the curd into peanut size pieces.
The curd is cooked at a low temperature while constantly being stirred. This process separates the curd from the whey, a liquid by-product of cheesemaking.
The whey is drained and later processed for many uses including; calf feed, producing insulin, filling for chocolate cream cookies, infant formulas and more.
Once drained the curds are salted.
The curds are cut and stacked and turned several times in the traditional process known as "cheddaring".
The cheddar curds are then milled.
The Cheddar boxes are prepared with cheesecloth, this process is called "bandaging".
The curds are then placed into the forms.
The forms are stacked and pressed. The Cheddars are removed from the forms with the bandaging left in place.
"Cheddars are aged from several days to several years."
The Cheddars are marked, labeled with a vat number and production date, and then placed in special curing rooms to age. While curing, the cheeses are inspected and turned by hand at regular intervals. Cheddars are aged from several days to several years. All Cheddars are graded by a Wisconsin licensed Cheese Grader before leaving the plant. **Open Toe Shoes and Jewelry are not permitted when taking a tour.**
Why a Tour? - Educational for students. - Restaurant owners looking for high quality cheese. - Expand your line of cheese at your local grocery store. - And many more reasons! Contact us today to schedule your tour.
Cheese is a nutritious milk product that has been one of man's most important foods for thousands of years. The United States and France rank as the leading cheese-producing countries. Wisconsin is the leading cheese making state. Wisconsin Cheese comes in about 350 varieties and in many different sizes and shapes. There are literally several thousands of varieties world wide.
History of Cheese Making
Widmer's Wisconsin Cheese Legacy...
In Wisconsin, the cheese making
legacy runs deep and examples of
third-and fourth generation
Wisconsin cheese makers carrying
on the family tradition are common.
Joe Widmer, is one such third-generation example. Widmer's Cheese Legacy
Customer Service is open Monday - Friday 8am to 4pm (888) 878-1107 or (920) 488-2503