6 unexpected, non-cheese items at the new Mars Cheese Castle
Mars Cheese Castle recently celebrated the grand opening of its new store, mere hundreds of feet from its former location, a casualty of the I-94 widening project. The A.V. Club stopped in to check out the new digs, which, despite the store’s newly-regal outer shell, feels less “castle” and more “S-Mart” inside. It’s altogether too clean and spacious, and lacks the lived-in character of the original. But hey, it’s brand new, and we fully expect the place to take on a bit more character once it gets broken in.
With the store’s merchandise housed in new confines, the plethora of non-cheese items that has always been sold at the Castle is suddenly a bit more noticeable. Here’s some stuff one can find at the Cheese Castle that’s not made from milk.
1. Various “ass”-themed hot sauces
Who knew the Cheese Castle was your one-stop five-alarm ass-torching shop? Rows upon rows of hot sauce bottles line one of the back corners. They could all taste the same for all we know, but chances are your choice will be determined by product name alone. Looking for “The Hottest F@*!kin’ Sauce”? ( It’s so disorienting, it makes you spell “fuck” with five letters.) Or how about one of the many “ass”-themed sauces? (“Ass Reaper,” “Ass In The Tub,” “Ass In Hell,” “Ass In Antarctica”... what, no “Ass In Greenland”?) Particularly disconcerting is the disclaimer posted on every bottle of “Blair’s 3 AM Reserve”: “THIS IS NOT A SAUCE! AVOID ANY AND ALL SKIN CONTACT!”
2. Mysterious “childhood candy”
A box filled with plastic bags full of random confections and labeled “Childhood Treats” can only have been procured from the back of a rusted-out blue van sold in a police auction, right? Still, the varieties of stick candies, candy necklaces, and suckers look oddly inviting and comforting, perhaps reminding us of a more innocent time in our lives, before the weird candyman started offering us rides in his oxidized Touchmobile. (We’re still not down with the Mexican button candy, though. Has anyone ever even met a Mexican who’d eat Mexican button candy?)
3. MILF wine
Cleavage Creek is apparently a winery that, according to its website, is “dedicated to making exceptional wines and to fighting breast cancer. 10% of gross wine sales is donated to fund breast cancer research and support.” Well, that’s awfully nice. Without any context, though, it’s hard to figure out why Mars Cheese Castle is selling bottles of wine with undifferentiated MILFs on the labels.
4. Bat-shit wacky ceramic goods
One area where the new Cheese Castle falls far short of the original is in the gift section. Gone are novelty Wisconsin shirts inviting the shopper to “smell our dairy air,” and there’s not a cheap-ass Native American-themed “painting” to be seen. However, the new Cheese Castle still has the “WTF” market share of Kenosha’s ceramics industry on lockdown. A clear highlight among the $50 beer steins is a ceramic cow with a row of bovine asses painted down its side. O... kay…
5. FOX Business Channel
The new dining area, while small, is a comfortable place to rest while enjoying a sandwich from the deli in back of the store. A large-ish HDTV keeps the diners entertained, although during our visit, it was tuned to FOX Business Channel, lest we forget we were outside our liberal pinko socialist haven of Milwaukee. On the day we visited, the Wisconsin State Senate had just voted on the bill that took collective bargaining rights away from public employees, which drizzled a layer of sad irony over FOX Business Channel’s report on the increased net worth of the nation’s billionaires in 2010. Way to be a buzzkill, Cheese Castle.
Sure, it’s technically a cheese product, but chudge warrants a mention simply because chudge is fucking awesome. That unsavory-sounding word is short for “chocolate cheese fudge.” Before you start vomiting, note that it’s basically an incredibly smooth fudge made with cream cheese. Trust us, chudge itself is worth the drive to Kenosha. Pick some up during your next visit and drop some off at the A.V. Club office, so we can greet you with a nod and a knowing, “you’re welcome.”