Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Is it an Irish miracle we are in Green County and Green Lake County on St Pat’s Day?

This week we continue our Wisconsin County culinary tour in Green County and Green Lake County. Both of these Wisconsin counties have major tourism activities to complement their economic base.

Green County

Green County in Wisconsin by David Benbennick
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green County by David Benbennick

Green County hosts 36,800 people on 584 square miles. The county seat is Monroe and other cities and villages include:

  • Broadhead
  • New Glarus
  • Monticello
  • Albany
  • Browntown

Green County is a heavily agricultural based community that is the largest cheese producing county in Wisconsin. It has a strong Swiss and German heritage that offers visitors a chance to experience some of these old-world traditions. Local festivals often feature yodeling, dancing, Alpen horns, flag throwing and Swiss and German dress. The Green County Master Cheesemakers are well represented at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin March 7-9th. Champions from over 2,000 entries in 102 classes of cheese, butter and yogurt were selected with one of them crowned the Grand Champion best cheese in the world. And that Grand Champion Cheese is…..the Roth Grand Cru Surchoix from Emmi Roth based in Monroe, Wisconsin. A Green County cheese won the Championship.

WisconsinMade artisan partners in Green County include:

  • Decatur Dairy known for their award winning Havarti, Brick and Muenster. Just received third place in Class 37 Brick, Muenster for Steve Stettler’s Brick Cheese and first place in Class 59 Open Class: Smoked and Semi soft cheese for their Smoked Mediterranean Herb Havarti. Try their Brick cheese with a glass of Merlot.
  • New Glarus Bakery featuring fine Swiss Pastries, breads and Holiday Stollen.
  • Minhas Brewery and Distillery makers of fine beers and spirits and Minhas soda
  • Benesh Photography presents award winning images from outdoor Wisconsin

In addition to our WisconsinMade artisan partners, Edible Antics Green County recommendations include:

Cheese Companies

  • Chalet Cheese the last US maker of Limburger cheese
  • Edelweiss Cheese makers of fine Swiss and Muenster cheeses. Swiss cheese pairs well a chilled Riesling.
  • Klondike Cheese makers of fine Brick cheese and Odyssey Greek Yogurt and Feta
  • Maple Leaf Cheese makes award winning cheddar. Cheddar pairs well with Pinot Gri.
  • Depplers cheese known for their Baby Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese pairs well with Riesling.

Meat markets

Restaurants and Supper Clubs

  • Baumgartner’s Cheese Shop and Tavern on the Square in downtown Monroe is the oldest cheese shop in Wisconsin and features local beers and cheeses. Try their liver sausage and Limburger cheese sandwich with a slice of raw onion on Rye.
  • Turner Hall in Monroe is steeped in the Swiss traditions and history of south-central Wisconsin, the Turner Hall of Monroe is a non-profit 501(c) (3) center of Swiss heritage and community activities. Established in 1868, it is believed to be the only Turner Hall of Swiss origin left in the United States, and is likewise one of the oldest, continuously-running Swiss entities in this country. The building, a Swiss Emmenthal-style chalet designed by German architect Max Hanisch, is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places and is handicapped-accessible. An authentic Old World Ratskeller Restaurant, an elegant Grand Hall with the area’s largest wooden floor, and a “retro” 8-lane Family Bowling facility are all part of the Turner Hall of Monroe
  • Franklin Grove near Albany is opening for the season March 23 for Wed thru Sunday meals. According to one reviewer: “Not a huge menu but an interesting one. Food has always been excellent. Loved the afternoon tea. We enjoy the ambience – you eat in the midst of an antique store. Good place to find an unusual gift.”
  • New Glarus Hotel serves patrons Swiss specialties like Geschnetzeltes, Cheese Fondue à la Neuchatel, Beef Fondue Bourguignonne, Rösti, and more!

Specialty shops and interesting stops

  • Chocolate Temptation is a chocolate shop with ice cream and coffee for you on the square in Monroe.
  • Esther’s European Imports Swiss shop in New Glarus has fondue and Raclette supplies, regional cookbooks, traditional Swiss folk wear, Swiss cow bells and more. A little bit of Switzerland right here in Wisconsin.
  • Brenda’s Blumenladen is an amazing boutique with a great selection of home décor, giftware, flowers and fashion accessories, as well as a greenhouse and complete garden center.
  • New Glarus Brewing is a quaint little brewery nestled on the outskirts of New Glarus, Wisconsin. The brewery is run by an enthusiastic couple, Daniel & Deb Carey, who have successfully combined business management and brewing professionalism. Their philosophy is based on individuality, cooperation and the employment of 100% natural ingredients to produce world-class, handcrafted beers for their friends in Wisconsin. Their beers are available “Only in Wisconsin”

Interesting Tourism attractions in Green County

  • The Swiss Historical Village & Museum presents the unique story of the founding of New Glarus in 1845 and traces the Swiss colony’s growth into a dairy farming community that continues to keep alive its ethnic heritage.
  • Green County Courthouse was built in 1891; it is the county’s second permanent courthouse. Architect G. Stanley Marshfield designed the Richardsonian Romanesque building. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
  • Catalog and online company Duluth Trading is headquartered in Belleville Wisconsin and has an outlet store for customers to search for bargains.
  • Catalog and online company Swiss Colony is headquartered in Monroe Wisconsin and has an outlet store for items from their eleven catalog divisions
  • The Sugar River State Trail follows an abandoned railroad line in south central Wisconsin for 24 miles from New Glarus to Brodhead. The Sugar River State Trail has fourteen trestle bridges cross over the Sugar River and its tributaries, while the trail passes by farmlands, woods, rolling hills, scenic meadows, remnant prairies and glacial topography. North of Brodhead, the trail goes over a replica covered bridge. The trail has also been designated as a National Recreational Trail. The Sugar River Trail headquarters is in the restored 1887 railroad depot in New Glarus. The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places and houses displays of local culture and railroad history.
  • National Historic Cheesemaking Center in Monroe. Discover the leadership and innovation that Monroe area cheesemakers have provided throughout the years, molding Wisconsin into the country’s premier quality cheese producer.

Green Lake County

Green Lake County in Wisconsin by David Benbenick
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green Lake County by David Benbennick

The City of Green Lake is the county seat of this county that is home to 19,100 people and covers a relatively small 354 square miles. Other cities include:

  • Princeton
  • Berlin
  • Markesan

Green Lake is the largest and deepest natural inland lake is Wisconsin. Green Lake is known for its fishing and recreational tourist community during the s

ummer months. Area activities include camping, biking, fishing, hiking, golfing, swimming, and boating. Green Lake is the home of the Green Lake Conference Center, which was founded by the American Baptist Churches USA in 1943. Also near the conference center is the Golf Courses of Lawsonia, built on the former estate of Victor F. Lawson, the owner and publisher of the Chicago Daily News.

The county includes the White River Marsh and the Grand River Marsh state wildlife areas. In summer these areas host some of the rare migratory Whooping Cranes. Crane Fest that celebrates these cranes is scheduled for September 10, 2016.

Edible Antics Green Lake County recommendations include:

  • Heidel House Resort and its Grey Rock restaurant on the shores of Green Lake hosts their Brewfest March 19th with appetizers, live entertainment and over 100 microbrews from Wisconsin.
  • Beckwith House in Berlin is a historic hotel built in 1863
  • Russel Moccasin Company in Berlin has dedicated itself to providing hunters and outdoors men and women with the finest handmade, custom fitted moccasin style boots and shoes available anywhere…at any price.
  • Ellison’s Grey Lion Inn bed and breakfast in Princeton provides comfortable lodging for visitors to the famous Princeton Flea Market, craniacs visiting the White River Marsh or casual vacationers in the area.
  • The September 9 -11 Whooping Crane Festival in Princeton
  • Franks Hometown meat in Berlin is a local butcher shop with a full variety of meats available to locals and visitors alike.
  • Lenz’s Green Lake Meadows Farm for grass fed beef
  • Honey Creek Farm for beef
  • The Village Bakery in Princeton
  • The Angel Inn in Green Lake is a beautifully restored turn-of- century Greek Revival Mansion on the western shores of Green Lake.

Both Green County and Green Lake County offer visitors numerous opportunities to experience some of the Wisconsin heritage and the delicious treats that are available in these communities. We invite you to experience all these people, places and edibles made with pride and passion in Wisconsin.

Join us next week for culinary and tourism sights in Iowa and Iron Counties.

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