There are two places I had never gone, both of which were accomplished within a couple miles of each other. One was driving through Rusk, Wisconsin — a hamlet just off I-94 east of Menomonie. I’ve driven by it numerous times in my life, but due to interchanges and such, never had a reason to go there. I did on a June day this summer, since I had to take a detour along County E to get to the other one: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery.

Now, if you know your geography, you know Rusk is nowhere near Ellsworth. However, the creamery recently opened a cheese-making facility and retail store further east, closer to Eau Claire. This was great for a day trip to get some June Dairy Month ice cream, and the Cow-Shew Glacial Blast:

What a Blast.

There are plenty of windows in the store to observe milk being made into cheese. Eventually it makes its way to be sold…and, in some cases, instead of cheese, it turns into soft-serve ice cream that comes out of a machine right behind the checkout counter. This is sourced from local, western Wisconsin milk — you don’t get much more “June Dairy Month” than that.

The Glacial Blast is kinda like a Blizzard: a mixture of the soft serve with other ingredients. The June feature is that aforementioned Cow-Shew edition. As you may have gathered, cashews are involved, and since caramel goes well with cashews and ice cream, there was plenty of that in the mix. All a wonderful, rich combination, based around creamy, Wisconsin dairy goodness.

Cashews glimmering in the June sun.

Different ice cream options are on the menu; you can also have Cedar Crest ice cream. And, of course, there is LOTS of cheese in the shop. If getting west to actual Ellsworth may not be feasible with your schedule, the eastern Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery store hopefully will work. Make a visit, whether in June Dairy Month or later. And take the scenic route through Rusk, while you’re in the area. Ah, to live so close to so much tastiness.

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