While Jill is our resident Wisconsin cheese expert (as mentioned previously, I was raised on Tillamook curds myself), her influence over the years has induced me to add a few Wisconsin cheeses to my list of favorites. Carr Valley makes several scrumptious cheeses, including Ba Ba Blue, cocoa-rubbed Cocoa Cardona and mixed-milk Menage. They are a fourth-generation, family-owned company that has been making cow, sheep and goats milk cheeses for over a hundred years.

Marisa is their cave-aged sheep-milk cheese, named after Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook’s daughter. It is aged for six months, and the cheese’s high butterfat content mutes the saltiness often found in similar cheeses.

Marisa is one of the sweeter cheeses I’ve tasted; creamy and mellow, it practically melts in your mouth. Its smooth paste is punctuated with just a few little crystals. I could snack on Marisa like candy, and it would make a great after-dinner cheese as well. 

Carr Valley’s own cheese and wine pairing guide suggests pairing the Marisa with a chianti, pinot grigio or light ale.