Sunday, January 3, 2010


Not only is Iowa home to the BCS bound Iowa Hawkeyes, it's also proud to produce some of the finest artisan food and drink in the country. La Quercia meats from Norwalk, Iowa (not far from a little town called Adel) can be found on top restaurant menus from coast to coast, and Templeton Rye (Templeton, Iowa) is riding the wave of small batch whisky (whiskey) to national acclaim. You'll be happy to have the latter the next time you're mixing a pitcher of Manhattans.

Pastoral, a top-flight Chicago cheese shop (with prices to match), recently introduced me to another Iowa treasure: Prairie Breeze Cheddar from the Milton Creamery. Milton is in southeast Iowa, near the Missouri (Mizzura to some) border, a ways past Eddyville, Iowa, where my parents grew up. As the name might suggest, this creamy cheddar is rich and smooth; although not as formidable as the great English farmhouse cheddars, it made for a satisfying winter's supper served with a hunk of bread and squash soup.

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