Tara's Food Notebook

Another Reason to Love Cheese

Cheese brine is a byproduct of cheese making...Works on roads as well as traditional rock salt...Who's in the mood for some brie?

This winter (which will probably be a blustery one in the Midwest, like it always is), the city of Milwaukee plans to use cheese brine to cover its highways. Brine, a byproduct of cheese making, is easily found in Wisconsin and it's cheaper than rock salt, too! The idea seems to have originated in Polk County, Wisconsin, where they've been keeping their roads safe with cheese brine since 2008, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Moe Norby, the technical support manager at Polk County's Highway Department, told Bloomberg Businessweek, "We don’t have our own saltmaker up here and buying one is really expensive. I started trying to think of other ways to salt the road, and I thought, dairy farms soak their cheese in brine. Brine is salty. Maybe we can use that. We started testing the brine in late 2008, and it worked perfectly. We saved $40,000 the first year. Since then, I’d estimate that our costs are down 30 percent because of it."

In related news, check out this grilled soft cheese, thyme honey and fresh fig plate that I recently pinned to my Appetizers, Small Plates and Snacks board on Pinterest.

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Tara Fitzpatrick

Tara Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Food Management and has been a full time staff editor since 2008. She covers food, culinary and menu trends. Favorite food? “Lox on a bagel....
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