Wisconsin Brick Cheese
Brick is a Wisconsin original, first made by John Jossi around 1877. Some Brick cheeses resemble Germany’s surface-ripened Beer Cheese or Beer Käse. Brick was named for its shape and because cheesemakers originally used bricks to press the moisture from the cheese. Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of Brick and surface-ripened Brick. The bacteria that cheesemakers apply to surface-ripened cheeses, known as a smear, develops the full, earthy flavor.
A Wisconsin original. Flavor changes from mild and sweet with a touch of nuttiness when young to pungent and tangy when aged. Surface-ripened with smooth, open texture.
Ivory to creamy yellow.
Smooth, open texture.
Mild: sweet, with a touch of nuttiness Aged: pungent, tangy Dry rind: mild to pungent, depending on age Washed rind: mild to pungent, depending on whether it is mild, medium or aged.
Mild Brick makes excellent macaroni and cheese, potatoes au gratin or hash browns with cheese. Aged Brick adds flavor to all types of sandwiches. Try mild Brick with sautéed onions and stone ground mustard on rye bread, with pickled vegetables on the side. Top toasted Italian bread with asparagus, ham and Wisconsin Brick; broil and serve open face.
Goes Well With
Mild Brick: Gamay Beaujolais or other light red wines, sweet pickles Aged Brick: Robust beers such as Porter style ale or bock lagers, hard cider, onions, dark bread.
Wisconsin cheesemakers produce Brick in mild, medium and aged varieties, plain or flavored with caraway and hot peppers. They also make Brick cheeses that are Kosher and/or organic. Brick cheese is made in 6- and 10-pound loaves; 8-ounce and random-weight pieces are also available.
This cheese should be well chilled before cutting into square or rectangular pieces. Score the foil of surface-ripened Brick before cutting. Remove the rind from washed-rind Brick; it is bitter and not intended to be eaten.