Agriculture Food+Drink Television
‘Wisconsin Foodie’ Visits E.C. Farmers Market, Meets Inga’s Cows
it’s the PBS Wisconsin culinary crossover you never knew you needed
There’s a hint of spring in the air in the Chippewa Valley and we’re about to set our clocks forward, so what better way to celebrate the impending change of seasons than a tasty teaser of the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market sprinkled with some locally made cheese?
That’s what you’ll find in the latest episode of Wisconsin Foodie, which brings host Luke Zahm to the Chippewa Valley to shop at the farmers market in Phoenix Park and meet up with cheesemaker (and fellow PBS Wisconsin host) Inga Witscher.
It’s the culinary equivalent of one of those blockbuster movies where superheroes join forces – except way more pastoral, and the only villain here is your hunger.
“I love a farmers market, and the Eau Claire market is absolutely poppin’ with the vegetables of late spring and early summer,” raves Zahm, who in addition to hosting the PBS Wisconsin program is owner and head chef at Driftless Café in Viroqua. (A few years ago, he was also a Midwest semifinalist for the James Beard Best Chef award, a tasty feather in the cap of a small-town chef.)
Zahm visits the market to meet Witscher, host of Around the Farm Table and a proprietor of St. Isadore’s Dairy outside Osseo, where she makes small-batch aged cheddar (with a big assist from her family and a small herd of doe-eyed Jerseys).
In the episode, available on PBS Wisconsin and YouTube (and right here!) Witscher introduces Zahm to her herd and the cheese she makes with their rich milk.
“The cheese is a great way for us to share our farm with other people,” she says. “And when you’re eating it, you’re tasting those flavors, the terroir, of our farm.”
The pair team up to make a super-local pasta dish full of farmers market veggies and topped with farm-fresh eggs and St. Isidore’s cheddar. Warning: Don’t watch this episode on an empty stomach, unless you want to start pining for the farmers market to open ASAP.