Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Taste & Learn

Sure, we all have those cravings for chocolate in the check-out aisles, and as a society we buy lots of bags of shredded, processed cheese or pints of ice cream.

But it doesn't have to be that way. If anything was apparent yesterday at the Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association Taste & Learn, it's that artisan food is worth the wait -- and the price.

Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association Taste & Learn
Indulgence Chocolatiers

The event was a mix of local producers showcasing their products and classes taught by those producers. We sampled some great chocolate from Indulgence, awesome cheese from Clock Shadow, ice cream and more. Beer, meats, coffee and spirits also were available to try.

Some of the things we learned were that we can make our own quark by adding flavors to it. This came after we marveled at the creamy, herbaceous taste of the Quark with Garlic and Dill. (Quark is a mild European style spreadable cheese.)

And it's great to hear that local producer Purple Door Ice Cream will be relying on Great Lakes Distillery for product in some of its spirit-enhanced ice cream flavors.

Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association Taste & Learn
Clock Shadow Creamery

We attended the Stone Creek Coffee ("How to brew great coffee at home") and Indulgence ("Techniques for tasting and pairing") classes, and were left with tips on how to brew and store at home. Focus on the ratio of coffee to water, and that's one major variable that will have you producing better coffee.

For chocolate, we learned that white chocolate can taste excellent, if the quality is there.

Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association Taste & Learn
Wild Flour Bakery

The Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association was founded in 2012 by eight local producers. Their mission is to promote, advocate for and support artisan producers in Wisconsin.

Want to learn more about the artisans at the Taste & Learn? Visit their websites listed below.

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