Man the Barricades, Bring the Crackers

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By Dave Coulter

Rough Edges

A topic of debate and banter over the past couple weeks for E and I has centered around the labor standoff up in Madison.  Right off the bat let me say that I'm in support of the workers there. (Caveat: I haven't studied the issues, and I'm sure the residents of Wisconsin could care less about my out-of-state opinions.  And I can't really pick on their governor when so many of ours routinely get jailed)  

But I must have been thinking about the industrious working folk north of the border when I sprung for some fancy Wisconsin cheese this week. Yes, it's pricey stuff, and yes, I hope it's good, too.  A purchase like this is a treat for this small business owner navigating a rough economy. But there is a solidarity among small businesses that I have observed in my life, and I'm happy to allow this chunk of cheese act as my proxy in this fight against the man.

I miss Studs Terkel right now.  When he was alive, he would surely have been able to recall the past struggles and bloodshed that workers endured to give us a better life that many take for granted. I  may not know my American labor history, but I appreciate the rights and opportunities life in America offers me.

I don't know (or much care) if the cheese from Otter Creek was fashioned by union labor or not.  I guess I'm happy to see Americans making cheese - or pretty much anything - these days. I guess what I'm trying to say is when you cut the cheese this weekend, think of America, with pride.  

I know I will.

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Posted: March 1st, 2011 9:54 AM

Labor issues aside, it's good stuff. Those cows are doing something right.

David Hammond from  

Posted: February 26th, 2011 10:44 AM

I visited the Otter Creek folks in Wisconsin last autumn and tried the same type of cheese produced from the same cows during three different seasons. I see you have winter (which, if I recall correctly, I found to be mild). It's amazing to a city boy like to me how much seasonal variation is reflected in the flavors of the milk and thus the cheese. This variation reflects the modifications in the cow's diet: it's the difference between eating wild grass & bugs and eating just silage.


Posted: February 25th, 2011 3:18 PM

S'long way to reach for a punchline, eh?


Posted: February 25th, 2011 2:31 PM

If I may steal a line from the incomparable family-friendly movie, 'Finding Nemo', "...N i c e...".

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