WAUSAU – Long touted as the home of America’s cheese, Wisconsin is a powerhouse both nationally and internationally, producing some of the finest varieties the world has ever seen. Whether idolized in foam-sculpted hat form, packaged as-is or deep fried and served bubbling hot, cheese is the state’s food mascot, and it’s consumed in mass quantities in homes, restaurants, sporting events and festivals throughout Wisconsin.

Today, Nov. 19, “Route 51” host Shereen Siewert welcomes Kim Heiman, from Nasonville Dairy in Marshfield, and Ralph Bredl, from Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods in Stratford, for a behind-the-scenes look at cheesemaking in Wisconsin, from its production to how new varieties are created. They’ll also share their thoughts on an effort to name Colby the state’s official cheese. 

“Route 51” is heard Fridays at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River, 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. It is re-broadcast Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9/Wausau. Program archives are available at wpr.org/route51.