Monroe, Wis., affectionately known as the "Specialty Cheese Capital of the USA," will host the famed Green County Cheese Days Sept. 14-16. This year, the Cheese Days festival is offering a new event, a cold cheese sandwich contest for children.
Children ages 12 and under are invited to create their own "signature sandwich" featuring Wisconsin Cheese made in Green County. With the guidance of parents or adults, contest entrants will choose bread, fillings, condiments and cheese(s) to complete their sandwich.
"We encourage the whole family to get involved in the contest by helping create a unique theme and name for the sandwich recipe," said Noreen Rueckert, coordinator of the Cheese Days festival. "For example, The Towering Inferno' sandwich could be piled high with alternating layers of Cajun turkey breast, locally made Pepper Jack Cheese and jalapeno-flavored potato chips. We hope this sandwich contest will give kids an opportunity to be creative and learn about some of the many Wisconsin Cheeses produced in Green County."
A complete list of Green County cheese creameries is available on the Cheese Days website, www.cheesedays.com/cheesemaking.htm
To enter the competition, children must first develop the cold sandwich recipe and then have their picture taken holding or eating the sandwich. The photo and completed entry form must be submitted by Monday, Aug. 20. Entry forms and more information about the cheese sandwich contest are available at www.cheesedays.com
Entries will be judged by an independent panel of cheese sandwich lovers, and finalists will be named for each age group (6 and under, 7-9 and 10-12). Finalists will be announced by Sept. 3 and will be invited to appear with their sandwich entries on stage during the Cheese Days celebration on Saturday, Sept. 15. Children must attend the final judging to win the contest. Finalists will be judged on creativity, originality and a brief on-stage interview to determine the grand prize winner for each age group.
Each finalist will receive a gift package and the top winner in each age group will receive a special grand prize. All sandwich recipes and photos entered in the contest will be compiled into a booklet that will be available to this year's Cheese Days festival attendees.
"Green County is home to the largest number of cheesemakers of any county in Wisconsin, and this contest is a wonderful tribute to their hard work and the creative cheeses they produce," said Heather Porter Engwall, director of national product communications at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Cheese Days has celebrated the wide variety of cheeses made by Green County cheesemakers and their contribution to Wisconsin's dairy industry since 1914.
For additional information about the contest or Cheese Days, call the Cheese Days office at 608-325-7771.