Brick cheese was created in 1877 by cheesemaker John Jossi in southwest Wisconsin, making it a true Wisconsin original. Jossi, a Swiss-born American cheesemaker, used bricks to press the moisture from this surface-ripened cheese, a practice that became standard procedure for brick cheesemakers and gave the cheese its name. Today, Wisconsin remains the leading producer of brick cheese.
If you haven’t cooked with brick cheese before, you’ll find Wisconsin brick is sweet and mild when young, then pungent and full flavored when aged. You can shred young brick to add a rich creaminess to macaroni and cheese, casseroles and potatoes au gratin and slice aged brick to add a tangy, slightly nutty flavor to sandwiches and crostini. Or, just cube it and enjoy in these easy Brat, Pickle & Brick Picks. With savory slices of bratwurst, hearty whole-grain bread and crisp pickles, you can’t go wrong. Pair with a robust beer or hard cider at your next tailgate for a palate-pleasing appetizer.
Servings: 16 picks
4 slices hearty whole grain bread, crusts removed
4 cooked bratwursts, prepared according to package directions
1 pound (16 ounces) Wisconsin brick cheese, sliced into sixteen 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
4 baby dill pickles, each cut horizontally into 4 pieces
Whole grain mustard
Toast bread until slightly brown. Cut each bread slice into 4 rectangles; arrange evenly on serving platter.
Slice ends from bratwursts and cut each horizontally into 4 slices. Place 1 slice on each bread slice. Top each bratwurst piece with 1 brick cheese rectangle and 1 pickle slice. Cut or break 8 wooden skewers in half. Skewer each bratwurst stack to make pick. Add dollop of each mustard and horseradish to platter for dipping.