Driftless Cheese Reigns Supreme on Avocado Toast


If you think you’ve had every imaginable version of avocado toast, think again. Sheep milk cheese is the secret ingredient you didn’t even know you’ve been missing.

When Wisconsin Cheesemaker Brenda Jensen once again swept the entire fresh sheep milk cheese category at the World Championship Cheese Contest with her fresh Driftless  cheeses, I had one thought: I bet it would make an amazing avocado toast.

That’s because six months ago, my husband and I purchased a coffeehouse and added an artisan cheese case. We revamped the menu using local foods and Wisconsin artisan cheese (shocking, I know).

On May 1, we launched a newly-tweaked menu with our own Firefly Avocado Toast featuring two slices of Madison Sourdough bread, avocado and a healthy dose of Driftless cheese. Simple, yet delicious. In less than a month, it’s proven so popular that Brenda has twice had to make special “emergency cheese” deliveries to our place, bringing 5-pound tubs of Driftless cheese with her.

Since launching Hidden Springs Creamery, near Westby 12 years ago, Brenda has earned more than 80 awards for her original sheep milk and mixed-milk cheeses. Driftless is a perennial winner. Deliciously simple and crafted from fresh sheep’s milk, it is wonderfully light, creamy and spreadable. It is also available in array of flavors, including Cranberry, Honey Lavender, and Sundried Tomato, each of which took first, second and third place at the World Championship Cheese Contest in March.

“To have my cheeses consistently earn awards in the same realm as some of the greatest cheeses and most famous cheesemakers in the world is an honor,” Jensen says. “We are especially grateful to everyone for supporting our signature Driftless cheese – a cheese we simply made up 12 years ago – and today are lucky enough to have featured in specialty shops across the nation.”

The fact is that luck doesn’t have much to do with Jensen’s success. The truth is that while Wisconsin is home to many an amazing cheesemaker, Brenda Jensen is simply one of the best. For 12 years, she and her husband, Dean, have dedicated themselves to growing their farm and improving the genetics and milk quality of their sheep. They reap the rewards from that hard work with award-winning cheese. I can’t think of a better cheese to celebrate with a good avocado toast.