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My Experience Going to the Art of Cheese Festival in Madison, WI

Let me tell you, Wisconsin is not an easy place to live if you are lactose intolerant. Even though I know I may be in digestive distress later, I have never been able to pass up a basket of fried cheese curds and I regret nothing. 

In August, Lactase in hand, I got myself tickets to the Art of Cheese in downtown Madison. It was delicious and incredible and delicious again. Here is my experience at this new showcase of some of the world’s finest cheese. 

Main Event

Of course, the main event at any festival celebrating cheese needs to be a Cheese Ball. This event was full of great music, dancing, and (of course) great food. The whole weekend is such a fun time, but the Cheese Ball was what most people bought tickets for. 

I had missed the announcement that tickets were on sale, but I was lucky and got some on Stubhub. I did also find some on TickPick but went with Stubhub after reading a TickPick review that pointed out the better prices on StubHub.

I had a blast at the Cheese Ball. My friends and I got all dressed up and worked off a week of a cheese smorgasbord on the dance floor. All of the live music was fun, charismatic, and made the night pass by far too quickly. 

Even though I had spent several days trying different cheeses, the Cheese Ball had plenty of featured cheeses that I had not encountered yet. They were all very good. I did not eat cheese. I did not like the entire festival!

Daytime Events

Before the Cheese Ball, there was no shortage of events to go to throughout the weekend. I went to cooking classes, went to wine and cheese tastings, and visited dairy farms, where I met the real stars of the weekend, the dairy cows!

My favorite event was a cooking class that taught us the process to make the perfect charcuterie board. I have used what I learned at that class so many times since then -- my charcuterie boards are a hit everywhere!

Of course, there was no shortage of cheese-related souvenirs for sale as well. My kitchen got a pretty cute update from all of the cheese trinkets that I accumulated.

Food and Drink

The one downside of the Art of Cheese festival was that I needed to remortgage my home to help pay for all of the cheese I bought (Just kidding, but I was tempted!).

There were white cheddars, mild cheddars, super-duper-knife-sharp cheddars, Colby Jack, cranberry-laced, beer-infused, etc. Listing all of the various cheeses available would take months, possibly years. 

I tried so many cheeses, and I loved them all. There were many that were sure hits, like sharp cheddar, but I also ended up being obsessed with some that I would have never thought to try before. One surprise hit was a white cheddar, with mango and chili pieces. It was so good I bought several blocks to give to my family members!

Final Thoughts

The Art of Cheese Festival is a new festival to join the list of cheese celebrations throughout the year, but it is also a new favorite. Definitely mark your calendars, I’ll be going every year!