6 Wisconsin-invented cheeses every board needs

Credit: Wisconsin Cheese Masters

By Christina Lorey

November 20, 2023

As Wisconsinites, it’s our duty to not only spread cheer, but cheese this holiday season! Whether you’re hosting or heading out of town, what’s better than snacking on a solid cheese board before the big feast? 

Here are six kinds of cheese that are not only made in Wisconsin, but invented here, too.


BellaVitano is one of Sartori Company’s flagship cheeses and has won a trophy case full of national and international awards since it was first created in 1999. Often hand-rubbed or soaked with Black Pepper, Espresso, Chai, Merlot, or Citrus Ginger, the cheese has a nutty, fruity flavor and a texture that combines the creaminess of cheddar with the crystalline crunch of a premium parmesan.


Colby, created in the late 1800s in the Wisconsin town of the same name, is often described as a milder form of cheddar. The cheese is tender, lacy, melty, and perfect to pair with just about anything thanks to its equal balance of salty and sweet.  

Colby-Monterey Jack

When you want the flavor of Colby with an even creamier, meltier texture, you can never go wrong with Colby-Monterey Jack (but call it colby-jack or co-jack if you want to show off your cheese IQ.) This stunning marbled cheese was born in 1979 at Arena Cheese, one of Wisconsin’s oldest factories, located in the rolling hills of the Wisconsin River Valley.

CALLING ALL CHEESEHEADS! Tell us the best cheese shop in Madison.


Cupola was perfected over a three-year time period (good things come to those who wait!) in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research before stepping onto the world stage in 2014. The fruity, nutty, caramel-y hard cheese boasts notes of toasted pineapple. 


Muenster was created by French immigrants who settled in Wisconsin in the 19th century. While they initially tried to imitate the French Munster famous in their homeland (yes, theirs is spelled without the extra “e”), the semi-soft cheese they created with a red-orange rind was a bit different, but just as delicious. 

Marbled Blue Jack

Award-winning marbled blue-jack really is the best of both worlds: Creamy, meltable jack cheese combined with the flavor and tang of a mild blue cheese. This cheese was developed and trademarked by Nasonville Dairy Master Cheesemakers who wanted a blue that was meltable, but not overbearing.

MORE: 10 award-winning Wisconsin cheeses to add to your shopping list


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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