Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cheese Days...and Cheese Soap

Every two years in late September my town of Monroe, WI, celebrates Cheese Days.  Regular life comes to a halt as all attention is focused on the festival, celebrating the heritage of the area with all things Swiss-- polka, alphorns, beer, and copious quantities of cheese.  And it is a Big Deal; the population grows from 10,000 to over 200,000. Happily, most of the action occurs within walking distance of my house. (Ha!  As if there would be any place to park a car anyway!)


Since it occurs over the weekend, there is, of course, a farmer's market.  It's moved a few blocks from its regular spot on the downtown square, but there is no lack of customers.  After the craziness of getting all the market vendors and their wares squeezed in and set up, I enjoy the excitement of the change of pace, meeting people from all over, and the party atmosphere.

So what makes a party in Wisconsin?  Beer and cheese.  (Well, bratwurst, too, but I have to draw the line somewhere.)  So, I thought I would highlight them--with a soapy twist--in my booth.

My beer soap scents included Oatmeal Stout, Honey Ale, CranApple Cherry, Pumpkin Lager, and Raspberry Cordial--some classic standbys, some new for me, but all of them perfect for the fall.
Why would you drink beer when you can bathe with it?

But I had to try something new in honor of Cheese Days.  Cheese Days=cheese soap?  I looked around for a cheese fragrance for soap with no success, but really....who wants to smell like an aged milk product, anyway?  The sweetgrass scent I used went over well.  In a nod to soapmaking tradition, however, I colored the soap with infused annatto seed, the same colorant used in many yellow cheeses, like cheddar.

Market shoppers were amazed by how realistic it looked and many had to come pick it up and smell it.  I am happy to say that no one tried to nibble it.

Success!

3 comments:

  1. ¡¡Una idea estupenda y el jabón te ha quedado perfecto!!
    Un abrazo.
    Blanca.

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  2. Great idea translating the beer-and-cheese theme into soaps, Amy! I love beer in soap. And the cheese soap looks so cool, just like the real thing. I'm surprised no one tried to eat it!

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  3. I was going to come and say exactly what Jenny said; no one tried to eat your soap? It looks like a nice piece of aged cheddar! And people talk about MP soaping looking like food. ;)

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