Sponsored - A growing trend is paying a special tribute to Wisconsin’s deep roots in the dairy industry in the most unlikely of places; weddings. Known for sentimental tributes, weddings are the perfect place to pay homage to the noble profession of the dairy farmer and more weddings are doing that by putting cheese center stage.
No one could be happier about the new found tradition than Brian Ehlenbach, whose family has been in the cheese business for decades and he’s never seen anything like this.
“It’s really kind of a fun thing, everyone is accustomed to giving away wedding favors. They give away candies, they give away little somethings,” Ehlenbach explained. “Now they’re giving away white cheese curds! Of course white for weddings, even though you could choose any color you want, but white is how a lot of them choose to go.”
So, Ehlenbach has begun an unlikely new side business, packaging up small trinket sized bags of Wisconsin’s famous cheese curds to be placed beside each wedding guest’s place setting.
“We have cool little packages they can have their names put on the custom label we make, the date, the wedding party, we change the font if they want it more fancy, whatever they want,” Ehlenbach said. “We’ve even been seeing these for graduation parties and some other events, but weddings are a really big trend right now.”
Since cheese can sit at room temperature, and is even better consumed at room temperature, it’s fine to be out at place settings for quite some time.
“People can take these home with them or eat them at the table, we put them in resealable bags so they can open them and close them as they like,” Ehlenbach said.
Wisconsin couples are finding it fun to share the state’s traditional customs and foods with their friends and family from out of state.
“When you bring people in from all different places they love to try our cheese curds, sometimes they’ve never heard of cheese curds and it’s their first time trying them,” Ehlenbach said. “It’s an important part of our state, so we love it.”
But, don’t think the wedding cheese trend stops there.
Some cheese loving couples are going a giant step beyond the curd to celebrate fromage. Another growing trend is seeing couples skip the confectionery cake all together, opting instead for a protein based option.
“We are actually making up wedding “cakes” made entirely of cheese, it’s a big trend now,” Ehlenbach said. “We are making tiers of cake from huge wheels of cheese sometimes 40 pounds or more of different cheeses. We build them up several feet high with different cheese on each tier. All we do is keep them around the same shapes as we move up to make new tiers. Some people pour curds around the base, add fruit or flowers, some put a topper on the top tier.”
Ehlenbach says he created his first cheese wedding cake about three years ago and has only seen the trend increase since then.
“We help with the planning, we do all the cutting of the wheels here on site so it’s easy to plan for what the couple wants,” Ehlenbach said. “We can customize it to exactly what they want. We can do all different flavors, smoked, soft aged, whatever variety they want.”
When it comes to cost, a tiered wedding cake can cost over a thousand dollars, whereas cheese can be less than half that cost.
Ehlenbach is happy to brainstorm with couples who want to embrace the trend. The DeForest company is located just off of Interstate 90-94.