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Wisconsin is fondly referred to as “America’s Dairyland.” Wisconsin is one of the nation’s largest dairy producers and commonly recognized in the U.S.A for its cheese. In fact, fans of the Green Bay Packers (Wisconsin’s NFL team) are affectionately referred to as “cheeseheads,” as they can be seen wearing hats resembling a large slice of cheese. If you pick one up while visiting, you can be a fellow Cheesehead as well. That said, many souvenirs from Wisconsin will bear something to note the cheesy reputation of Wisconsin. Throughout the state, travelers can purchase clothing, key chains, mugs, glassware, and other novelty items that depict cheese.
Cheese and Sweets
Aside from purchasing souvenirs that depict cheese, if you’re a food (or junk food) connoisseur, you’ll enjoy some of what Wisconsin has to offer. This should go without saying, but you can purchase some of America’s finest cheese. Wisconsin’s reputation for cheese is largely due to their growth of specialty and artisan cheeses while creating over 600 different varieties. Such varieties include cheddar cheese made from raw goat’s milk, aged sheep’s milk cheese, and a cheddar loaf aged 12 years! In addition to cheese, Wisconsin makes many food items that reference their dairy culture such as popular junk food items like the Cow Pie and Cow Tails. A Cow Pie is a large round piece of chocolate with caramel and pecans throughout. The design here is to look somewhat like a “cow pie.” Cow Tails are long, slender sticks of caramel filled with a white cream. These junk food items, as well as the popular cheese varieties can be found throughout Wisconsin at shops and grocery stores. They make great holiday gifts as well.
In addition to Wisconsin’s popular food items, America’s Dairyland is well known for its beer drinking and has many breweries located throughout the state. In fact, the state’s professional baseball team is called the Brewers. If you’re a beer connoisseur, you’ll enjoy “hopping” around all the microbreweries, but you may also find some fun while shopping for unique, beer-related souvenirs. The Wisconsin beer candle is a popular item for souvenir seekers. This 13 ounce glass is filled with a jellied candle to resemble a liquid brew inside. Once the candle is burned through, you’ll then have another gif, a Wisconsin-branded drinking mug. Another popular item is beer soap. This soap is made from actual hops and grains that the breweries across the state use to make their beer. Some brands have added fragrances to take away the outright beer smell. Let’s be honest, who wants to walk around smelling like a drunk all day?
Outside of your traditional souvenirs like clothing, key chains, glassware, and postcards, Wisconsin doesn’t offer much for originality outside of its cheese and beer. If it’s arts and culture that you’re after, Milwaukee will be your best bet. Located at the southeastern tip of the state, Milwaukee is its largest city and 28th most populated in the United States. In Milwaukee you have options to tour museums that showcase the art, culture, and history of the state. However, Milwaukee will not offer many unique souvenirs outside of the aforementioned cheese and beer items.