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Wisconsin Table

You don’t have to be a beverage industry expert to know beer is big business, and you don’t have to be a historian to know Wisconsin is home to one of the country’s proudest beer brewing cultures.

Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and provocateur, once said that good food and good eating involve an element of risk. I believe he was talking about oysters. One of my risky food experiences involved a different kind of seafood.

Once a week, from late spring to early fall, Vollrath Park on the northeast side of Sheboygan transforms from a serene lakeside park to a bustling mall of hungry people and colorful food trucks.

We strike out for Together Farms one evening in mid-May. The minivan is packed tight: every bench and bucket seat claimed by one family member or another.

Dan Nitka, owner of The Booyah Shed in Green Bay.

It’s a noun, a verb, an exclamation, and a hot bowl of everything but the kitchen sink. Booyah, a regional soup, holds a firm grip over the people of Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin at large.

Landjaeger display at Bavaria Sausage in Fitchburg

It’s fermented, cured, delicious, and often misunderstood and mispronounced. Perhaps you’ve seen them before and wondered what they were. Or you’ve seen them and never given them a second thought. 

A scene from a recent Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social in Brodhead

The Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social makes its rounds to community airports across the state.

Commercial Red Cliff Band fishermen like Junior Gurnoe (left) make their living from the waters of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Photo courtesy of Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

A tribally owned and operated, zero-waste processing plant and retail shop opens on the Red Cliff Reservation just north of Bayfield.

Chef Elena Terry holds ancestral corn seeds. Photo by Tom Jones. No reproduction without permission.

For Chef Elena Terry, seeds represent both the past and the future of her people.

Ken Seguine and Jay Gilbertson of Hay River Farm have been producing artisanal pumpkin seed oil since 2005.

Wisconsin farms are making artisanal cold-pressed oils for cooking and health.

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