It’s true we have 1.3 million dairy cows in Wisconsin. Those cows produce cheese that feeds 86 million people.
They don’t call us cheeseheads for nothing.
But Wisconsin is also the nation’s leading cranberry producer, according to the state tourism Web site.
We do have wineries. (California's wine industry started out here, curiously enough, when Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy tried to grow grapes in the 1840s on the site of what is now Wollersheim Winery. He soon moved to California.) In Door County, wineries are popping up like trillium in the springtime.
Our larger cities have their share of good restaurants. For years, Madison and L’Etoile restaurant laid claim to the fabulous Odessa Piper, the chef who championed sustainable agriculture and regional cuisine.
We’ve got Friday night fish fries, good beer and sausage and if you like classic steakhouses, there are still tons of them around.
We’ve also got food bloggers. I’m having fun getting to know them. Thanks to Erika of Tummy Treasure, another Wisconsin blogger, I’ve been introduced to two other Badger blogs.
What Geeks Eat is based in Middleton, a Madison suburb, and it’s by a husband-and-wife team who describe their sense of humor as “goofy.” They like to eat local and watch “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show,” so I consider them kindred spirits.
Wisconsin Candy Dish is also out of southern Wisconsin. It’s the work of two, or three bloggers (one of whom claims to be 100 years old). They dish about sweets: Who can resist that?
Erika herself puts a lot of time and care into her cooking. Recently she made truffles; so did I. ‘Tis the season.
On a related topic, as I write this food bloggers have already raised nearly $13,500 to feed the hungry through Menu of Hope. We are only three days into the effort.
Here's how you can participate:
1. Go to the Menu for Hope donation page.
2. Make a donation. Each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the Personal Message section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Specify how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code — for example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for UW01 and 3 for UW02. The prize code for my box of fruit butters is UC04.
3. If your company matches your donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
4. Please also check the box to allow raffle coordinators to see your email address so that they can contact you if you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else.
5. Check back at Chez Pim on Jan. 15 when raffle results will be announced. The drawing will be done electronically.