Produced by Brenda Jensen at Hidden Springs Farm, located in southwest Wisconsin, Bad Axe is a firm, pasteurized cheese made from sheep's milk.
Brenda and her husband, Dean, live in the heart of Amish country. They own 76 acres of land, 30 of which are allocated to grazing for their 116 Lacaune and East Friesian dairy sheep.
Brenda & Dean started with a small dairy herd and have both worked hard to improve genetics and milk quality. Friesians produce a good yield of milk and have very calm temperaments, while Lacaunes bring higher fat and protein into the mix.
The vision for Hidden Springs Farm and Creamery is to be sustainable - both environmentally and financially. Since the Jensens are in the middle of Amish farm country (Dean works as a councillor for the Amish community), they appreciate Amish values and work practices. They employ Amish friends and neighbors for milking and construction. Percheron draft horses -- not tractors -- plow their fields, and donkeys keep coyotes and other predators away from their lambs.
Brenda has worked to develop several cheeses,. Driftless was her first fresh cheese and she has since added aged cheeses; O'Cooch Mountain, Feta and the semi-aged Bad Axe to the range.
Bad Axe cheese is named after a river near the farm that was the original site of the 1832 Battle of Bad Axe.
Aged for 60 days, and then dipped into wax to help retain moisture, Bad axe has a pure, creamy white paste and floral aroma. Flavors are of fresh milk with a tart and a lingering tang. The cheese slightly resembles a fresh mozzarella with its taste and smooth texture.