This week in Omnivorous we highlighted some favorite barbecue spots in honor of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s visit this weekend. But elsewhere I wrote about Willi Lehner, the “off-the-grid rock star of the Wisconsin artisanal cheese movement” as the New York Times has deemed him. Here’s some footage of Lehner’s subterranean solar- and wind-powered cheese cave in Blue Mounds, which produces some of the most paralyzingly good Wisconsin cheeses I’ve ever tasted.
Don’t be freaked out by his talk of cheese mites. They’re harmless, and most artisanal cheesemakers (and ham makers) have to deal with them, usually by simply brushing the wheels off. In addition to the diatomaceous earth Willi sprinkles his wheels with to ward them off, he also “hoovers” the little buggers with a shop vac, just like they do for Montgomery’s Cheddar in Somerset, England.