‘Green Bay Greg’, the ‘Rick Steves’ of Green Bay, selected Renard’s as one of his ’365 Things to do in Green Bay’. Thanks for the love, Greg! You can view Greg’s site here…
It should never be doubted that Wisconsin Swiss cheese is a true Wisconsin cheese. Although its origins begin in Switzerland with one, particular type of cheese, called Emmentaler cheese, what we call Wisconsin Swiss cheese today can actually refer to several different types of cheeses. However, all of the cheeses that fall under the name of Wisconsin Swiss can trace most of their roots back to the Swiss Emmentaler cheese, and its beginnings near the Emme Valley, around Bern, Switzerland, sometime between the 14th and 15th centuries.
If you're looking for a Wisconsin cheese, you'll have a hard time finding one that's more “Wisconsin” than Colby cheese. In fact, saying “Wisconsin Colby cheese” is almost redundant. Colby cheese is the Wisconsin cheese. Their histories are so intertwined that without one another, we probably wouldn't be able to recognize them. At the very least, they would both look very different!
Colby cheese got its start in Colby, Wisconsin, which is a small town about 40 miles west of Wausau, Wisconsin, right off of state highway 29. Of course, back in the 1870s the state highway wasn't there. There wasn't a lot in Colby, actually, but the town did have one thing: the Steinwand family cheese factory. That's where Colby cheese was first made by Joseph Steinwand. This is also where Joseph decided that “Colby” was a more appetizing name than “Steinwand” for a cheese, allowing “sound businessman” to be added to his list of accomplishments.