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Discover Wisconsin: Ten state companies every foodie must check out
Sweet Something's Pastries in Kenosha offers award-winning cupcakes and other delectable treats. (Photo supplied)
Wisconsin's rich cultural history, fruitful land (and sea) and hardworking people allow this state to be home to some of the country's best food. Besides the obvious (dairy), Wisconsin produces an abundance of fruit, vegetables, meats and sweet treats. If you consider yourself to be a foodie, you may want to check out these great businesses that have partnered with "Something Special from Wisconsin."

1. Down a Country Road (Cashton)

Located on a farm amongst the beautiful rolling countryside of southwestern Wisconsin and in the heart of Amish country, Down a Country Road is owned by Chuck and Kathy Kuderer and is home to the Village Shops. The Amish Shop, The Little Red Shed, Emma's Kitchen, Country Corner Ice Cream Shoppe, Kinner Korner Children's Shop and Not So Plain & Simple are what make up Down a Country Road and offer visitors everything from furniture and wooden toys to soaps, lotions and perfumes. Foodies, however, will especially love the Amish treats, Wisconsin-made ice cream, jams and jellies, noodles, honey products, pancake and bread mixes, maple syrup and more.

2. Sweet Something's Pastries (Kenosha)

Imagine the cookies, bars and pies your grandma always made, and you've imagined Sweet Something's Pastries. With everything from Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars, Double Chocolate Brownies and Toffee Studded Snickerdoodle Cookies to Chocolate Angel Food Cake, Caramel Pecan Apple Pie and award-winning cupcakes (including a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake, for all the autumn lovers out there), there's surely something for everyone here. I've sufficiently made myself hungry just writing this.

3. Wissota Garlic Farm (Chippewa Falls)

While most grocery store garlic is of the "softneck" variety because it's easier to grow mechanically, Wissota Garlic Farm grows only "hardneck" garlic, which is favored by chefs for having exceptional flavor. Garlic from this Chippewa Falls farm can be purchased for eating or for growing and is available for shipment immediately at harvest, around early September. Wissota Garlic Farm offers various types of garlic, including culinary, eating and seed garlic, and can be purchased on their website. You may even consider signing up for their "Garlic of the Month Club." No vampires for you.

4. (Madison)

Nothing says "Wisconsin" like a cheese and sausage gift basket from They've also got chocolates, cakes, pastries, kringles, bratwurst, bacon, beverages and so much more ... hungry yet? Find ingredients here for your next meal or purchase a gift basket for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and weddings.

5. Mudd Creek LLC (Appleton)

When eating gluten isn't an option for people, delicious gluten-free alternatives make all the difference. Mudd Creek LLC provides just that. What began as an award-winning fruit spread business expanded in 2008 to include gluten-free baking mixes after the owners' daughter was diagnosed gluten-intolerant. Shortly after, the company became a dedicated gluten-free, state-licensed kitchen and expanded the line to include granolas, butter spices/rubs and coffee blends. Their products are available at various grocery stores, specialty shops and restaurants, as well as online.

6. Macski's Highland Foods LLC (Milwaukee)

I can count on, well, zero fingers how many places I know that offer Scottish food, so that right there makes Macski's pretty unique. Its founders, Morganne MacDonald and Vince Milewski (Macski, get it?), share a love of Scottish land, people, culture and food and wanted to make it available to all. Through years of Scottish travel and preparing authentic haggis for the St. Andrews Society of The City of Milwaukee, Macski's has developed "the best tasting haggis in America."

7. Farmhouse Recipes (Mineral Point)

Farmhouse Recipes is owned and operated by Hodan Community Services, a rehabilitation program serving adults with disabilities. Everything is produced at Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point, and products include delicious jams, pickles and relishes, baking mixes, dry soup mixes and dips. Purchases and donations can be made on the Farmhouse Recipes website - a good cause and great rewards.

8. Gitto Farm n Kitchen (Watertown)

The Gitto Farm n Kitchen is completely run by the Gitto family (10 kids strong) and produces everything from tortillas, which are sold at grocers in the Madison and Milwaukee area, to fresh produce sold at farmers' markets and grass-fed beef. You'll find members of the Gitto family, along with their produce, of course, at Dane County Farmers' Market, Westside Community Market, Oconomowoc Summer and Winter Markets and the Waukesha Farmers' Market.

9. Door County Wildwood Market (Sister Bay)

The Carlson family has harvested cherries since its first trees were planted in 1915 and over the years has expanded to producing plums, raspberries and strawberries as well. Visit during late May and early June to cut your own peonies, during July and August to pick your own cherries or during autumn for the perfect pumpkin. The family bakes on weekends, using "Gramma's recipe" for pies, bars and cookies, while homemade fudge, candy, flavored caramel corn and granola are Anna's specialty. As if there wasn't enough reason already to visit Door County.

10. Holland's Family Cheese LLC (Thorp)

When you pass through Thorp, look for the big cow sculpture "Dutchess" and you'll find the Marieke Gouda store along with its farm and cheesemaking facility. Marieke Gouda cheese is sold in the store, as well as other local food, accessories and typical products from Holland. Visit the facilities, where you can see the cheesemaking process first-hand through the viewing window, enjoy an ice cream or chocolate treat or order a meal at Cafe DUTCHess.

From the Amish to the Scottish and the cheesemakers to the produce growers, Wisconsin covers all the bases when it comes to food. Where do you get some of your local goodies? Share with us on social media using #DiscoverWisconsin.

"Something Special from Wisconsin" is a trademarked program administered by the Division of Agricultural Development at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection since 1983. Every dollar spent on "Something Special from Wisconsin" products and services supports local farmers, food processors, entrepreneurs, our communities and livelihood, as well as the Wisconsin way of life. "Something Special from Wisconsin" products are unique and of the highest quality, making them perfect for gift-giving, special occasions and every day.

- Kristen Finstad is a crew member of the nation's longest-running tourism TV show, "Discover Wisconsin." The column is published Tuesday on the Life page in the Times.