3 basic rules of football food — and some cheesy recipes you can serve up on Sunday

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MILWAUKEE -- Fall in Wisconsin means football -- and whether you're at the game for a tailgate, eating with friends at a football party or munching at home in front of the TV -- Wisconsin cheese will win over any crowd of football fans. That's why we've called in Laura Wilford with the Wisconsin Dairy Council.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board produces an online magazine three times a year that offers recipes for seasonal entertaining, weekly meals, cheese serving tips and more. The new harvest issue of that magazine, Grate Pair Share, is here and it has your game day gathering covered... and it`s available for free at GratePairShare.com

When it comes to football food, there are three basic rules:

You need to be able to eat with your hands so you can easily grab something and get back to the game

It must be share-able:Enough to feed a crowd of hungry fans

Great tasting Wisconsin cheese is the centerpiece.

Ultimate Wisconsin Cheese Tailgate Board
Tailgating is a well-loved Wisconsin tradition. Whether we are cheering for the Green Bay Packers or the UW-Badgers, game day is always fun with a crowd pleasing spread of Wisconsin cheese and hearty pairings. Whatever team you are rooting for, this spread is sure to bring home the W!

A cheese board is easy to make and it`s a simple way to impress your friends or whoever you`re watching the game with. You can assemble your ingredients and go to the party. No cooking involved!

Build an epic tailgate cheese board with Wisconsin artisan cheese. Wisconsin cheesemakers produce 45% of the artisan (or specialty) cheese in the US.

To build a no-fail cheese board, start with a special selection of cheese and accompaniments that are big on visual contrast and bold in flavor. Choose creamy white cheese like Sartori`s Black Pepper BellaVitano to create some contrast in comparison with a firm and crumbly yellow cheese like Hook`s 10-year cheddar. Add in some bold and new flavors by adding a blue cheese or other cheeses with varying flavors and textures. A cheese board can feature 3-5 different cheeses, two different breads or crackers and 3-4 pairing foods.

To prepare your cheese board, unwrap and arrange your cheese at least an hour before serving. This allows time for the cheese to breathe and show off their special flavors. Slice, cube and serve some of the cheese whole for a varied and appealing look.
Choose a big board and start assembling. Place the cheese on it first and then arrange everything else. Make it look bountiful - things can hang to the edge of the board, can be tucked together and can be garnished with football flair.

The Starting Lineup
Recruit these one-of-a-kind Wisconsin cheeses for an all-star cheese board.

1. Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano
The reigning Grand Champion at the 2017 U.S. Cheese Championship Contest, Black Pepper BellaVitano has rich, creamy texture, notes of fruitiness and a sweet and tangy finish. (It`s also a personal favorite of Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski.) The rind is coated in cracked black peppercorns for just the right amount of spice.

2. Hook's 10-Year Cheddar
Tony and Julie Hook have been making cheese together in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, since 1976. Their aged cheddars take home countless awards. With a full, rich flavor and smooth finish, the 10-year cheddar is a fan favorite.

3. Marieke Bacon Gouda
A native of the Netherlands, Marieke Penterman uses farmstead-fresh, raw cow`s milk from her family farm in Thorpe, Wisconsin, to handcraft her traditional Dutch-style gouda cheeses. This version adds a generous amount of locally cured bacon.

4. Smoked String Cheese
Your favorite childhood snack is all grown up with this smoked version that pairs perfectly with meats and pickled vegetables.

5. Roelli Dunbarton Blue
Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli has created a true original in Dunbarton Blue. This cellar-aged cheddar has blue veining and a natural rind. A great cheese for those just getting into blues!