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When you first think about January, what are the first words that come to mind? 02J16331If you’re like many of us, most of those topics are related to the New Year – terms like resolutions, exercise and healthy diet. You may be surprised to know, however, that there are several other holidays taking place.

In addition to our official holidays like New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there are dozens of unofficial holidays on the calendar – Houseplant Appreciation Day, National Nothing Day and the upcoming National Cheese Lover’s Day. Cheese Lover’s Day takes place on Saturday, January 20, and we can’t think of a better holiday for our very own dairy state to celebrate.

Of course, you already know that Wisconsin produces a lot of cheese (it just comes with the territory, right?), but do you have any idea about just much “a lot” exactly is? We thought it’d be fun to celebrate the unofficial holiday with compelling facts about Wisconsin cheese.

  • Pioneering farm wives began making “kitchen” cheese from that of their herds in the 1830s, but the first official Wisconsin cheese wasn’t made until 1841 by Anne Pickett of Lake Mills when she added milk from her neighbor’s cow to that of her own small herd.
  • If Wisconsin were a country, it would come in 4th place in world cheese production, following the rest of the United States, France and Germany.
  • Wisconsin leads the rest of the country in the development of the following types of cheese: Limburger, Feta, Romano, Provolone, Parmesan, Muenster and Cheddar.
  • Wisconsin makes over 600 varieties, types and styles of cheeses (including more than 65 originals.)

Who knew cheese came in so many varieties and had such a rich history? It should come as no surprise for us to learn that there is a day dedicated to sharing their passion with others.

Don’t think one day is enough? You’re not alone! Cheese lovers will be happy to learn that there are 18 other cheese-related holidays that happen throughout the year, (but we’re not sure that they all count.)

Will you make plans to celebrate the day of cheese? Let us know in the comments below. Happy National Cheese Day from Lions Pride!