To Fair or Not to Fair, That is the Question

July 19, 2018 10:39 AM

Have you noticed that I devote a lot of my posts to food? I think I need a new hobby. You may think, based on the title, that this post is not about food, but about a fair. You would be wrong. This post is about fair food; my very favorite fair food, the Swiss in Rye on a stick.

swiss and rye

The pinnacle of fair-food, in my opinion. (picture from Shepard Express)

The Swiss in Rye is a large chunk of Swiss cheese stuck on a skewer, dipped into a Rye batter and deep-fried until it reaches the temperature of hot, molten lava. It’s served with brown mustard and lots of napkins.

It is, and has been, my favorite fair treat for the last twenty years. It’s hot and crispy and gooey and salty and a wonderful mix of all things bad for you.  Cholesterol? Check. Fat? Check. Calories? I don’t even want to know.

The Swiss and Rye is found only at a food truck called Hot Wisconsin Cheese. It even has a cow print painted on the truck.

hot cheese booth

Of course, such a treat as a chuck of cheese, deep fried and battered, would come from a place with Wisconsin in it’s name. We do love our cheese!

The Hot Wisconsin Cheese food truck can be found at State and County fairs throughout the Midwest. Their Facebook page says they travel as far as Florida during the winter months. (Lucky them!)

Typically, I get my yearly cheese fix from them at the Wisconsin State Fair. It’s the first place I visit when we go to the fair. Often, it’s the only food place I visit, if I fail to control myself and consume the whole thing. That happens a lot. I can tell you from experience, that if you eat an entire Swiss and Rye, you will not be hungry for the next eight hours, at a minimum.

Dennis and I could share a Swiss and Rye. But, honestly, I really don’t like sharing my Swiss and Rye. I was an only child. That’s my excuse.

In order to enjoy all the other bad-for-me-treats that I like to sample at the State Fair, I have to either restrain myself and only eat a quarter of the Swiss and Rye (not likely), stay at the fair long enough to get hungry again (also, not likely. We’re done after 2 or 3 hours) or visit the State Fair on multiple days and only get the Swiss and Rye once. (For the record, if I do get Swiss and Rye on subsequent visits, I do share with Dennis. It’s just the first one that’s all mine.)

Option number three, visit the fair on multiple days, is what we’ve done most often in the past. It works well and it gives us a chance to see different bands throughout the run of the fair, too. When we get sick of the crowds after a few hours we can leave, knowing, we’ll see whatever we missed the next time we go.

Two years ago, I came up with a fourth option. Attend another event where the Swiss and Rye is served. This would allow me TWO opportunities to get it within the year. (We won’t go into the discussion as to whether I should be eating this twice a year. I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t even be eating them once a year, but that’s besides the point.)

This weekend, the Swiss and Rye opportunity is presenting itself in the form of the Waukesha County Fair. They’ve had a Hot Wisconsin Cheese Truck there the past two years. Although, I didn’t see it listed on their Facebook Page or on the Waukesha County Fair’s list of vendors, so I’m wondering if they’re there this year.

Waukesha County Fair is a fairly good-sized county fair and it had the usual local 4-H displays, some animals, a midway which we never go to, and a smattering of vendors selling windows and hot tubs. Occasionally, they have a band from the 80’s I’m interested in seeing, but they don’t this year. So, therein, lies the conundrum Dennis and I are facing.

Do we go to the Waukesha County Fair just to get the Swiss and Rye which may not even be there this year? That’s a lot of money to spend for admission and parking for a hunk of deep-fried cheese that I really shouldn’t be eating anyway.

On the other hand, there is a very small window in which I can get the cheese, and it’s supposed to be warm, and sunny this weekend. Walking around the fair, eating cheese and people-watching doesn’t sound like a bad way to kill a Saturday afternoon.

Back to the question I posed earlier. To Fair or Not to Fair? At this point, I think Not to Fair, but only because I’m not certain Hot Wisconsin Cheese is there. If anyone happens to attend the fair and sees the happy little food truck painted yellow with black cow markings, please comment and let me know. I will be forever grateful. My thighs, however, will not.

Did I mention we’re trying out another swim spa option this weekend?

11:07 AM


  1. Sandy Helgerson · July 20, 2018

    I truly look forward to your posts. I have learned about so much of life that I am missing out on. (Thought I don’t really like Rye – I think I would still try Swiss and Rye on a stick!) Thank you for sharing!


    • Jackie Mellem · July 21, 2018

      Thanks, Sandy! Dennis doesn’t like rye either but he likes the Swiss and rye at the fair. It’s very mild. He still won’t touch mustard, though. 🙂


  2. Pingback: State Fair at Home | One and Done 2.0 A Snap Shot of Life

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