Reviving rare cheeses

stack of cheese final
Photo: Wis. Milk Marketing Bd.

No question that Wisconsin is the big cheese: More than 600 varieties, types and styles are produced here. But there are a few that have become extremely rare. The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research hears from consumers who want to know where they can buy these old favorites and from manufacturers want to learn how to make them. So CDR tracked down some info on these hidden gems for an article in the latest issue of Dairy Pipeline, CDR’s quarterly newsletter for cheesemakers. Here is a little about a couple of recent revivals, excerpted from that article. Download the full issue here.

Liederkranz. Similar to Limburger, Liederkranz is a smear-ripened cow’s milk cheese known for its strong flavor. Originally produced in New York during the late 1800s, Liederkranz was made for more than 80 years, but production ceased in the mid-1980s. In 2010, DCI (now part of Saputo) and Chalet Cheese Cooperative worked together to bring it back. Chalet Master Cheesemaker Myron Olson had been producing Limburger for many years and had worked with CDR experimenting with Liederkranz style cheese. Olson’s new Liederkranz was unveiled at the 2010 World Champion Cheese Contest.

Bon Bree Brick. Prior to the 1980s this cheese, known for its firm texture and creamy taste, was produced by a company in Mapleton. When the plant closed in the mid-1980s, Lloyd Williams, a dairy farmer in Delafield, decided to bring it back with the help of cheesemaker Terry Shaw, who had manufactured Bon Bree at Mapleton and provided Williams with some of the original mother cultures, and the Dairy Business Innovation Center (DBIC). After a few years of experimenting, Williams Homestead Creamery began selling Bon Bree under its trademarked name. Clock Shadow Creamery currently manufactures the cheese, which is made solely from the milk produced on Williams’ farm. In just the last year, Bon Bree has grown into three new varieties, dill, chive and caraway. It is available in more than 30 grocery stores and is on the menu at a number of restaurants throughout Wisconsin. For more on this cheese, visit

If there’s a forgotten variety that you’d like to know about, send your questions to