Wisconsin using cheese to de-ice roads. Really.
The only thing that could make this story more quintessentially Wisconsin is if beer was somehow involved.
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a piece about a number of municipal and county governments in Wisconsin using cheese -- yes, cheese -- to de-ice frozen roadways.
According to the report, officials in America's largest cheese-producing state have taken to mixing cheese brine -- typically of the provolone or mozzarella variety -- with traditional rock salt to create a cheaper, more durable road de-icer.
One of the early adopters of the cheese-salt mix, Minnesota-bordering Polk County, has saved $40,000 since it started using it back in 2009, the Times reports. Milwaukee is testing out a pilot program this year.
One concern is that coating roadways with cheese could make Wisconsin smell more like, well, cheese. But really, would anyone in the Land of Cheese mind? And as anybody who has driven recently in St. Paul can tell you, an ambient aroma of mozzarella would be a small price to pay for drivable roads.
"We're just trying to make every possible use of cheese," Milwaukee alderman Tony Zielinski told the Times. "If this takes off, if this proves to be a success here, I'm sure that it will be used in cities all over the country."
An added bonus: If you're in Wisconsin and can't make it to the grocery store before the Packers game, just dredge up some crackers and head to your nearest icy roadway for an easy salty snack.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.