WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- Now that Summerfest is behind us, the countdown is on to another big Wisconsin tradition. The Wisconsin State Fair opens in just over three weeks, and preparations are underway to make hundreds of thousands of cream puffs.
On Monday, the cleaning and the organizing started at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Dairy Bakery. Team members will be in full operation mode starting August 1, working around the clock, making 30,000 to 40,000 cream puffs a day.
“Actually, it’s a 24/11 operation if you think about it, because the fair goes for 11 days,” said Wisconsin Bakers Association CEO Dave Schmidt.
In one day's cycle, that's at least 60 cases of eggs, 50 gallons of milk and 1,200 gallons of fresh whipping cream to make the delicious, fluffy fair favorites. But this year, the main ingredient will come from a new supplier and it is out of state.
Golden Guernsey in Waukesha went into bankruptcy earlier this year, so Prairie Farms from Illinois has stepped in. The cream will be blended at a plant in Iowa, but all the ingredients to make the signature pastry still hail from Wisconsin.
“The cream is actually being blended for us to our specifications, with Wisconsin dairy and cream and milk that from all same cooperatives and farmers that we've been using all 88 years,” said Schmidt.
So what does this mean in terms of taste? Schmidt says while there isn't much difference, others tell him it tastes slightly better.
“We tested out this cream at Indyfest. We got a lot of compliments, a lot of personal calls and people have really liked the flavor of this cream,” he said.
Here's your chance to try the cream puffs even before state fair starts:
FOX6 is teaming up with the Wisconsin State Fair to give away 600 six-packs of the cream puffs. Click here and register before midnight, July 18.
Winners will be notified by email and can then pick up their six-pack at State Fair Park the morning of July 30.
The Wisconsin State Fair itself runs August 1 through 11.