While food science students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Foods Dairy Plant have crafted cheese and sold it on campus for years, Faculty Associate Ranee May and one of her experiential dairy processing learning classes have spent the past two years developing a signature artisan cheese they hope to distribute nationwide.

Cobblestone Red, a creamy, semi-soft cheese made with local Chateau St. Croix’s Chateau Rogue wine, has been selling briskly on campus and at trade shows, May said. The wine’s blend of currants, black cherries and vanilla comes through nicely in the American Original, a cross between a cheddar and a jack.

“It’s a taste that people get excited about,” May told me yesterday at World Dairy Expo in Madison.

The Cobblestone Red is available in one-pound half wheels for $7 and can be purchased at the Falcon Foods store at the UW River Falls campus. May is currently working with distributors to launch the cheese into state, regional and national retail markets. In addition, the cheese will soon be available via mail order on the web.

6 thoughts on “Cobblestone Red

  1. I was thrilled to hear that UW River Falls will be selling cheese nationally. Since they are using free labor, students, to make and package it, UWRF milk to produce it, UWRF equipment and aging facilities to manufacturer it and they don’t have to pay those pesky old taxes they should be able to sell it at a great price.Since when did an organization supported by taxpayers get to compete with the people who have put their lives on the line to buy milk, build factories, buy materials, hire labor and take risks with their own money.If UWRF is making and selling cheese when they are supposed to be educating our young people who is doing the teaching?Amazing.

  2. Just found your blog as I was thinking of organizing a cheese tour or something in western WI.I am located in the Twincities and was wondering, if you could recommend a few good artisan cheeseries that would make up for a good cheese tasting road trip not too far away from the Twincities.I am originally from Bavaria and I am so THRILLED about how superb some of the American artisan cheeses are! I just bragged about that to my friend back in Europe. I just tried a WI blue which was just lovely. Great flavor start to finish and wonderful texture and mouthfeel!Anyway, any hints and pointers, I’d love it! Thanks!Rosie

  3. Hi Rosie — so glad to hear how thrilled you are with American cheeses. There is an exceptional sheep’s milk cheesemaker located near Westby — Brenda Jensen at Hidden Springs Creamery. Also, you have Sid Cook’s Carr Valley Cheese locations in Mauston and LaValle. If you’re looking for a farmstead milk bottling facility near Twin Cities, Castle Rock Organic Dairy near Osseo is a good day trip. They also make ice cream and cheese.

  4. HURRAY anonymous! I absolutely agree 100% with your comment. This could hurt the specialty artisan cheese market as we can not produce these type of cheeses as cheaply as the University of Wisconsin, Riverfalls. The UW Riverfalls should take some direction from the UW Madison CDR, as they assist all cheese makers in creating and developing new cheeses for which to help make the the private sector sucessfull and profitable. If we want our specialty cheese growth to continue, we should be supporting our existing cheese makers who are spending their time, effort, and money to help keep Wisconsin the dairy state is.

  5. UWRF holds a cheesemakers course once every year that trains almost half the cheesemakers in Wisconsin. They and Ranee do help local cheesemakers with consultation. Often times here help is free. The cheese plant does not receive state or federal funding and all equipment and operating costs must be covered by its sales. UWRF is not trying to compete with local cheesemakers, but instead is trying to make enough money to be able to continue to help assist them into the future.

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