Every year while I was growing up, at some point before the holidays a large box would arrive on my family's doorstep from my aunt in Wisconsin. Opening the box, we would discover a marvelous assortment of variously sized, shaped, and colored packages—not presents or toys, but Wisconsin cheese: squeaky-fresh cheddar curds, colby jack, mozzarella string cheese, wedges flavored with dill, salami, bacon, ham, or cranberries. And each year, one of the first of the treats we'd finish was the cheese fudge.
Cheese fudge is exactly what it sounds like: It is indeed made with cheddar cheese, but it's also made with chocolate. Virtually unknown outside certain Wisconsin enclaves, the confection has all the sweet chocolatey richness of fudge and a hint of cheddar tang, with just the right amount of walnut bits sprinkled throughout. It's the perfect sweet snack at a party and a delicious conversation-starting addition to a cheese platter. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
Cheese Fudge, $12.99 per pound at brennansmarket.com