American Food Festivals - If you love cheese and the Packers, this is right up your alley!

If you are even just a casual National Football League fan, undoubtedly, you are familiar with the Green Bay Packers. Even though the Packers are unique among the 32 NFL teams for a variety of reasons, one of the immediately identifiable reasons is the cheesehead hats worn by fans. 

The cheesehead is a nod to Wisconsin's fondness and famous reputation for cheese production (even though California is the national largest cheese producer).  Our first American Food Festival tour stop is in Wisconsin for a cheese festival.

More specifically, it is the annual Cheese Curd Festival. This year's two-day festival starts on Friday, June 21, in Ellsworth, the designated Cheese Curd Capitol of Wisconsin.

The festival promises 6,000 pounds of cheese curds, 20-plus cheese curd dishes, and beer, wine, and hard cider to wash it down.

Before we proceed, it might help to know exactly what a cheese curd is compared to plain ole cheese. Simply stated, a cheese curd, and even more specifically, a cheddar cheese curd, is unaged or fresh cheese. 

So now that we have that out of the way, what are some activities? At 2 p.m. on Saturday, there is the cheese-curding contest, which, depending on our view of such events, can be stomach-churning!

While the festival will have entertainment, the main attraction is the cheese curds. Among the several ways curds can be enjoyed are classic deep-fried, cinnamon sugar dessert curds, and 2024's exclusive flavor will be Garlic Dill, which promoters describe as "Coated in a famous crispy batter, they're fried to golden perfection and accompanied by a ranch dipping sauce."  

Located in northwest Wisconsin, Ellsworth is best reached by air through Minneapolis, which is about 50 miles away, compared to Milwaukee, which is about 300 miles away.  

If cheese is your thing, these Ellsworth, Wisconsin, activities are just for you, and oh, don't forget your cheesehead!  

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