Well people are clearly freaking the puff out about the State Fair Cream Puff fiasco. Fiasco? Well, it’s early and my vocabulary is limited. If you have not yet heard, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Wisconsin Baker’s Association has chosen an Illinois based company to supply the cream for the puffs this year. Anyway, I decided to make a few calls before creamin’ my shorts (eww…sorry) and making a protest sign.
So, first, I put a call in to the Wisconsin Dairy Council. Apparently there are many people off today so I am awaiting a call back.
Then I called the Wisconsin Baker’s Association. I was told:
- 100% of the cream WILL be coming from Wisconsin dairy farms
- They contacted 12 Wisconsin dairy suppliers. With the sudden closing of Golden Guernsey, they had to find a supplier in a short amount of time.
- Over 350,000 cream puffs will be made during the 11 day fair. They could not find a dairy supplier (including production – it doesn’t just come straight from an udder) that could provide such a demand during that period.
- Since they could not find a Wisconsin supplier, they did the next best thing and picked a co-op based in Illinois which uses and benefits Wisconsin farms. Again, they insisted in a contract that assured 100% of the cream will indeed come from Wisconsin farms.
I will certainly let you know as soon as I have any updates. For now…I guess I, personally, wouldn’t be so quick to boycott the puffs based on anything other than my waistline. I know it sounds shady. And we all have right and reason to be suspect. But it seems to me that those involved in this process really tried to make the best decision with little timing. I do not find it hard to believe that after this past difficult year, many Wisconsin dairy farms would have a hard time keeping up with that kind of demand. But again, if I hear anything else, I will let y’all know.
****UPDATE: I spoke with Katy at the Wisconsin Farmers Union. She just heard about this a little while ago but has been looking into it since. She said that it basically comes down to the fact that Wisconsin no longer (since the closing of GG) has a distributor/processor large enough to handle that kind of capacity. And she said that it is sad and certainly a niche that needs to be filled here – especially since were supposed to be “open for business”.
She also said that since it couldn’t come from a WI based business, she IS happy that they will be using 100% WI cream and that it is coming from a company which is actually a farmer’s co-op which is something they are all about and support completely. So, it is not the best scenario…but one that seems to have been unavoidable and that the best possible decision was made.
****Yet another UPDATE: I just received the following info from Katie (it’s a Katie/Katy day I guess) at the Wisconsin Dairy Council:
As it turns out, Prairie Farms, though headquartered in IL, receives milk from 44 Wisconsin counties and has been part of the Wisconsin Dairy landscape for more than 50 years. Prairie Farms has a distribution center in Bristol, WI and they employ over 150 Wisconsinites in their offices and distribution centers. In addition, Prairie Farms serves 100% of the milk in Madison public schools and in Racine’s Unified school district.