Wisconsin’s Got Some Strange Cheese (And Other) Laws
Not that our state, which has laws against mispronouncing Joliet as Jolly-ette, or giving dogs a cigar has anything to look down its nose at, but our friends behind the cheddar curtain have some interesting ideas about cheese legalities and other things.
However, some of the supposed "Wisconsin Cheese Laws" you may have heard of aren't actually laws at all. Not that there wasn't an effort to get them on the books in America's Dairyland.
Like cheese being mandatorily served on top of apple pie...
Or, I guess you could have it on the side.
Cheese Served On Top Of Apple Pie Is Strongly Suggested In Wisconsin, But There's No Law Forcing You To Have It That Way
In a piece at NicoletLaw.com, they point out that the cheese-on-pie statute is just a myth:
Connie Von Der Heide, former director of reference and outreach services at Wisconsin State Law Library, exposed the truth of the matter in 2009 when the Wisconsin State Journal asked her to tackle the topic. She noted that a law in effect from 1935 to 1937 required restaurants to serve butter and cheese with every meal, but she added that the law never required restaurants to put cheese on any part of the meal.
Wisconsin Did Have, At One Time, A Serious Problem With Margarine
When your state is all about dairy, I can see where some oily concoction that purports to taste like butter would send lawmakers into action. And it did.
From 1925-1967 margarine was banned from sale in the state of Wisconsin. Even today, there's a law regarding margarine that was put on Wisconsin's books way back in 1895.
No joke. Wisconsin statute 98.17 has been in place since 1895 and it still stands today. It’s still illegal for restaurants to serve margarine – unless the customer specifically orders it. The “yellow stick from Satan himself,” as Governor Warren Knowles called it – is also a big no no in prisons, hospitals, schools or other state institutions – unless absolutely necessary for health reasons.