If you think that Wisconsin loves cheese, you should try going to Switzerland. Or better yet, bring some of the Swiss affinity for cheese over to the States. That's exactly what Willi Lehner's parents did in the early 1950s, when they brought their passion for great Swiss-made cheese to Wisconsin.
As a second-generation Swiss immigrant and dual-national, Lehner has continued the family tradition of bringing quality cheeses to Wisconsin in the form of Bleu Mont Dairy has been at the for 25 years and can be found on North Carroll Street on Saturdays, as well as at the Wednesday market. He sells a variety of cheeses, including Goudas, bleus, and cheddars, one of which is the highly-regarded Bandaged Cheddar Reserve. His cheese can also be found at several Madison restaurants, including Harvest, The Old Fashioned, and L'Etoile.
The Daily Page: What's your most popular cheese?
Willi Lehner: I would say my Cave Aged Bandaged Cheddar, which won first place from the American Cheese Society.
What cheese do you wish you made, but don't?
Sbrinz. It's a hard cheese from Switzerland that requires special equipment to make. It's considered the "Grandfather of Parmesan."
Do you have recipe to share?
No specific recipe, but I've been told that my cheeses make a great macaroni and cheese.