For decades, cheesemakers across Wisconsin have been crafting and perfecting cheese recipes. Whether the recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, or is an innovative original, the story of these cheeses are truly woven in to the fabric of our history.
Certified Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook knows this well, as he has spent a lifetime in the cheese business. Sid is the fourth generation in his family to make cheese. Combined, there is over 1,000 years of cheesemaking experience in the Cook family. Sid fondly recalls growing up in a cheese plant, learning the family business. At the young age of 16, Sid received his cheesemaking license, and has since spent a lifetime crafting high-quality Wisconsin cheese.
Today, Sid Cook owns and operates Carr Valley Cheese. As a company, Carr Valley Cheese began in 1902, and today is best known for producing high-quality, artisanal aged Cheddars. Carr Valley operates four cheese plants, all in southwestern Wisconsin. Between the plants, they produce over 100 different dairy products. Their line-up includes classics like pepper jack, medium cheddar, and brick, but also a long list of original cheeses. Today, Carr Valley produces more than 50 original varieties of artisan and specialty cheeses. These varieties are made with cow, goat, and even sheep milk. Several varieties combine two or all three of the milks to create unique flavors.
Cheese at Carr Valley is made the old-fashioned way, by hand, with a goal of producing high-quality cheese with outstanding flavor. These techniques, combined with a lifetime of experience have garnered more than 800 national and international awards for Sid’s Carr Valley cheeses. To date, Sid Cook has won more top national and international awards than any other cheesemaker in North America. He is proud of these accolades, but is humble sharing, “It takes a lifetime.”
Shop their award-winning cheeses, and learn more about Carr Valley Cheese at: carrvalleycheese.com.
*Photo of Sid Cook courtesy of Carr Valley Cheese Facebook page.