A Cheese Shop in Wisconsin: A Visit to Madison's Fromagination

Two things happened yesterday: The Badgers beat University of Arizona by one point in a heart-stopping overtime and my husband and I decided a trip to Madison was in order for the summer.

I love Madison. Its politics mirror mine (trust me, I am not talking about the governor of Wisconsin) and it makes me feel 21 again. I feel privileged to have lived there for over a decade.

Madison offers much in the way of culture and fun as well as politics, and a trip there is never complete without a bit of shopping. In recent years, shopping in Madison always includes Fromagination, one of the best cheese shops in the country.

I'm rerunning this post from 2008, as a salute to a city I love, a state I've adopted and an alma mater I'm so proud to claim: 

Taken in France, not Madison
Walking from my conference to my hotel each night, I passed an inviting little shop I'd wanted to explore last summer. I ran out of time then, but this week I'd pass the shop just before closing time. So, unabashed cheesehead that I am, I dodged inside drawn by the warm glow of possibilities.

The shop is Fromagination at 12 South Carroll Street. (I should note that the photo above was taken in France; I forgot my camera this trip.)

Fromagination is chock full of artisan cheese from Wisconsin's famous cheese makers. Not wanting to make a choice, I purchased five "orphans," small wrapped odds and ends of cheese I will bring home to my husband for our Saturday night finger food tradition.

I found the staff friendly and knowledgeable, and they did not laugh as I oohed and ahed my way around the shop. Somehow, a bag of crackers and a fruit confit found their way into my bag, along with some candy for my sweet-toothed husband back home.

I have a difficult time restraining myself in food shops.

Moreover, I have still more difficult time passing by a food shop at the end of the day. There is something enticing about their cozy light against the darkening night and something enchanting about the practice of shopping for the evening meal on the way home. There's a comforting bit of serendipity involved in finding supper in a random way, of cobbling together a meal of what is available.

It's what I used to do on those long ago evenings when I lived here.

It makes me feel good to do it when I am back in town.


editrix said…
I publicly recommended this on Google Plus. I have no idea what that means. I like how personal this post is.
Christine said…
I remember this post from way back. Just want to let you know that the reason for my not leaving comments on your wonderful posts lately is solely due to overwork at my job. I've been ignoring everyone! Trying to catch up now but work is going to be really tough on me until the end of this school year. Sigh.
Love the word Fromagination!
M.D. Johns said…
Thank you, Mary! It is a bit personal for me. When you work as hard as I did to get through college, you develop a great deal of love for the city, the college and the process.

Christine, I have been missing you, and I'm glad to know it's work keeping you busy, because usually that is temporary and fixable! Only two more months, right?

I've been a bit lazy this week, because I took a temporary part time job working at a law firm. I'm happy to have the work, and I'm learning new things.
~~louise~~ said…
I have every intention of traveling up by you this summer Mimi. I will be watching for these suggestions as I am a food shop lover and Wisconsin doesn't fool around when it comes to cheese making. (I should mention, I have been wanting to make the trip up there for three years now) I will one day make it though:)

Thanks for sharing this post, Mimi...I now am craving Wisconsin cheese:)
M.D. Johns said…
Just let me know when you are coming, Louise!

Wisconsin has much to offer, including, we hope, a men's basketball championship!
~~louise~~ said…
That's so sweet of you, Mimi. I just got off the phone with my friend in Missour. She just moved there from Pennsylvania and I'm planning to make a trip out that way late August. Hopefully, I will make it up north by you too!!!

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