In keeping with the week’s trend, featuring Wisconsin writer Jay Gilbertson, I’m sharing my favorite guilty pleasures of my home state!
1. Four Seasons
For all it’s snowy faults, Wisconsin has some beautiful springs, summers, and falls. My favorite season of them all is autumn. It has a wide range of colors that for at least a few weeks make our entire state look golden.
2. Cheese Curds
A Wisconsin summer staple, cheese curds of many forms and flavors can be found at almost any restaurant or festival in Wisconsin. After all, we are the Dairy State. In their raw state, they are essentially the firm portions of soured milk, and they squeak when you eat them. Nowadays you can get them in a variety of cheese and seasons; they are mainly found in cheddar and mozzarella, and sometimes infused with dill, jalapeno, garlic, sundried tomato etc.
More often found at the carnivals is their fried version. Breaded and fried to perfection, then served with ketchup, ranch, or marinara to taste. Delicious and not good for you, but so worth it!
3. The Green Bay Packers
Cheese curds aren’t the only reason we’re called Cheeseheads! I didn’t start out a football fan, but you’ll probably learn to love it. We have too many sports bars and wing nights to escape it! Plus, now that I’m a football watcher, I love razzing Mark and Pam when their teams lose! Sorry guys!
4. Chris Farley
One of best people to come straight from our capital! You all know him from Saturday Night Live and films like Tommy Boy, Chris Farley isn’t so much a guilty pleasure, as he is a comic god. When you watch the first clip, go at least 2 minutes and 18 seconds in, it’s my favorite part.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that Wisconsin is the place for festivals. Every town in this area has some sort of weeklong festival during the summer. Just in my area there is Riverfest, Sunfish Days, Butterfest, Apple Fest, Cranberry Fest, the Beer and Cheese Festival, the Folk Festival, the Outdoor Shakespeare Festival, the Storytelling Festival, the Jazz Festival, Irishfest, Freedomfest, and let’s not forget Oktoberfest, America’s largest beer drinking/brat eating German heritage festival, second only to Germany’s actual Oktoberfest.
6. MST3K’s Joel Hodgson
First off, if you know what MST3K stands for, you are awesome in my book! If not, it means Mystery Science Theater 3,000, and it’s an old show set in space where one man and several robots are trapped and forced to watch terrible sci-fi movies. However, they make the movies bearable by talking over the films and having their own dialogue or commentary. Joel Hodgson is one of the hosts, and he came from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Check it out!
7. Urban Legends and Ghost Stories
Linda Godfrey wrote a whole book about the strange things in wisconsin, it’s called Strange Wisconsin, which is actually the sequel to Weird Wisconsin. Catchy! I was born in what Godfrey describes as the Circle of Strange. It’s theorized by Godfrey that my hometown area is known for multiple werewolf sightings! I blogged about it last summer when I met her at the library, Into the Strange: Wisconsin’s Paranormal. Local lore to my new home digs include the Legend of Bat Man, and I guess there’s also a Lizard Man. For more personal stories about ghosts, check out my October archives, I shared a new ghost story each week!
Have I convinced you to come to Wisconsin yet? C’mon! We can eat cheese curds and watch movies then go werewolf hunting in the woods!
What are your favorite guilty pleasures about your home state?