Back in September, Cheese Underground partnered with cheesemaker Brenda Jensen at Hidden Springs Creamery in Westby, Wisconsin to develop a new flavor of her Driftless cheese.
Deliciously simple, consisting of just sheep’s milk, culture, rennet and salt, Driftless is a light, creamy and spreadable fresh cheese that routinely sweeps (for the last four years running) the Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese class at the American Cheese Society competition. Available in an ever-evolving blend of flavors, including perennial favorites Basil & Olive Oil, Tomato & Garlic, and Honey & Lavender, as well as seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin, Maple, and Cranberry & Cinnamon, Brenda was looking to develop a new flavor and turned to you, my alert blog readers, for suggestions.
Dozens of ideas from across the country poured in, ranging from morel to bacon to merlot and cocoa. But perhaps my favorite suggestion was from David, no last name or address given, who suggested Brenda make a Driftless with marijuana and call it “Cheese Exotica”.
One gets the feeling that David lives in California, as he suggested that in the Golden State, one must only show a document to freely buy cannabis-infused edible products “which greatly help those who prefer GI ingestion. There are recipes for canna pesto, etc, and cheeses are so varied (blue vs. bland –I very much enjoy strong dessert cheeses that take over your brain) that folks can be creative. I trust but have not done the research that Wisconsin has humane cannabinoid laws. And, yes, while the market is limited to those who consume the flavorant (perhaps 10% of the population), there are other cheeses favored for artisanal (snob) value. Imagine the overlap of cheese snobs who distinguish canna cheeses. Just saying. Never seen this. Love cheese. Folks from Wisconsin seem reasonable. Carry on.”
Sadly, David, the reasonable folks in Wisconsin have no such favorable medical marijuana laws, so Brenda had to choose her top eight favorites that did NOT include weed.
Brenda even created prototypes of her top eight non-pot favorites, which were sampled during the Meet the Cheesemaker Gala during November’s Third Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival, and let folks vote for their favorite.
The winner? Allison Smith from Helotes, Texas, who suggested the completely legal flavor combination of Horseradish, Garlic & Onion. As the winner, Allison received a tub of the new Driftless flavor, made special by Brenda, as well as a complimentary one-year membership to Wisconsin Cheese Originals. Congratulations, Allison, and thanks to everyone who sent in their suggestions for legal and non-legal cheese flavors.