Last week, if you read my post, I featured an out of the way Winery, set among the rural country side. This week’s attraction is somewhat similar, although instead of a winery, cheese is the final product of my focus- insert your own dumb joke if you must.
I can’t believe it’s been over one and a half years and, as I’ve tried to find interesting features primarily in the state of Wisconsin, this is the first Cheese Factory I’ve visited. It’s a novel little place and I do mean little. It is also in an out of the way location. Yet, for those yearning to capture the essence of rural Wisconsin, I don’t think you could get much more relevant or authentic.
I steer through the country roads in rural De Pere, as I come across old farms and hill top houses. The sun is shining down and the early spring drive livens my spirits. I find Old Martin Road and soon discover the very small parking lot of the shop.
The shop is what sells it as Old World Wisconsin. It resides, as the Scray family were Belgium immigrants, in a red brick farm house. I love this because I spent a good portion of my childhood in a similar home. As a matter of fact, from a distance, the property looks like an old fashioned Belgian farm, minus the silos. The shop is fitted with a unique drive up window, where you can pick up a bag of squeaky Scray Cheese curds. The shop offers over 100 different types of cheeses.
This is the real deal as far as cheesemaking in Wisconsin is concerned. Scray Cheese is a family owned and operated cheese factory going on its fourth generation. It’s roots stem from a time when hundreds of cheese factories occupied Brown County. Back then, as Scray opened in 1924, milk cans transported by horse and buggy brought the necessary material for cheese making. These days, local farmers are still the back bone of this wonderful testament of rural Wisconsin.
I cross through a modern glass door into the shop. You must be wondering, “If it’s a cheese factory, and you’re posting it, are there tours?” The answer is yes and no. No being that there is no guided explanation as to what is happening in the factory. I say yes because I spy a window in Scray’s shop that allows full view of the vats and the small little factory. It displays an older way of making cheese, versus the automated technology of today.
After asking about production, I learn They push out 9,000 pounds of various cheeses a day, handcrafting edam, gouda, cheddar and fontina. However, the factory functions only four days a week. The morning is the best time to view the cheese making process.
For myself, having been to some specialty cheese shops before, this place really has an ambiance that truly speaks Wisconsin. I pick up some curds, which are absolutely fantastic, and a small block of Horseradish Havarti.
If you’re up for a country drive with deliciousness as your destination, I do suggest this place. It is definitely worth the short trip from the city of Green Bay and Lambeau field.