Since this is a week in which so many are traveling, I thought it would be fun to tell you about a very famous tourist attraction that is just over the Illinois/Wisconsin border, off the stretch of Interstate 94 between Chicagoland and Milwaukee. It’s the Mars Cheese Castle.
The “Mars Cheese Castle” has been there for more than forty-five years. The owners recently built an actual “castle” just west of the land on which the original building stood.
Regardless (and even though it’s not *right* on the border but actually about eight-ish miles north of it), when you see that sign you know for sure you’re in Wisconsin.
The mouse, formerly outside, is now “in the house” and people love posing for pictures with it.
The selection of shaped cheeses is pretty staggering, if you’re into shaped cheeses.
My family is a fan of cheese curds. Not familiar with cheese curds? Cheese curds are basically small, randomly-sized chunks of fresh/young cheddar (usually) cheese, before it would get pressed into molds and aged. It is also called “squeaky cheese”, because when cheese curds are really, really fresh (less than a day old), they squeak a little bit when you eat them. Though cheese curds are mostly made from cheddar, sometimes other types of cheese are added, and there are several varieties available, like jalapeno, dill, sundried tomato, and others.
Of course, while you’re at the Mars Cheese Castle you can purchase your Cheesehead hat, for wearing to a Green Bay Packers football game. Though D scoffed loudly at the hats (he–a Chicago Bears fan, naturally–is required by law to do that, I think), I told him that I wish *I* had thought of the hat idea, because I’d be a bajillionaire by now.
The Mars Cheese Castle sells all kinds of other Wisconsin products, like Kringle (one of our favorites), and it also has a lunch counter where you can grab a meal before hitting the road once again.
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Ha, I never knew cheese could be so interesting! All those shapes are crazy.
I tried cheese curds for the first time at the MN State Fair this year and they were awesome. But I’ve heard I have to go to Wisconsin to get the real deal, lol.
The castle looks great. I’d like to have a $1 for everytime I drove past the Mars Castle since I was a little kid. My mon and dad used to stop for poddy brakes their when we would go up north.
k a t i e
I love cheese. LOVE it. In fact, it would be on my list of “I can’t live without”, in the top three. Trumped only by potatoes, and my family.
I love the Mars Cheese Castle! I love to buy cheese and sausage and candy to eat in the car 🙂 It’s such an oasis! 🙂