Made in Wisconsin from a blend of pasteurized sheep milk, Dante is one of three cheeses produced by the Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative under the guidance of Dane Huebner.
Sheep’s milk is sourced from between twelve and fifteen member farms that milk between 100-400 sheep seasonally, mainly comprising of the East Friesian and Laucaune breeds. During the spring and summer, the sheep graze freely on pasture and fed a limited amount of natural grain whilst being milked.
Production of Dante is also seasonal. To make the cheese, the milk is gently pasteurized before starter cultures and rennet are added. Once the curd is formed and cut, the whey is drained off and the remaining curds put into plastic molds for pressing.
After unmolding, the wheels are transferred to a temperature and humidity controlled aging facility at Cedar Grove Cheese in southern Wisconsin. There, they’re aged for at least six months before release. During this time, they’re covered with an edible poly-coating to help preserve moisture and control mold growth.
Flavors of Dante are sweet with notes of toast, butter, grass and lanolin. The texture is slightly pliant and moist, with more aged wheels becoming slightly drier and more crumbly.