Going to UW-Madison from New York, I always get the question: "What made you come to school here?" Honestly, I really can never answer that question because there are too many reasons why. The Big 10, the school spirit, Lake Mendota, and cheese are just a few of the things that stand out most. We may be known for our obsession with cheese and beer, but our food traditions extend far beyond that. Here are 10 food-related things you'll relate to if you're a true Badger: 

1. Cheese Curds 

chicken, sauce
Lauren Lamothe

What is a curd? It is made up of pieces of solid curdled milk and can be served "squeaky", fried, or even in poutine. They can come in various flavors such as garlic, pizza, chipotle, dill or plain. The plain flavor closely resembles the taste of cheddar cheese. You can find these bad boys as an appetizer on every single restaurant menu in town. We even have food trucks dedicated to curds.

2. Blue Moon Ice Cream

Honestly, I'm not sure really what blue moon is, but it can be found at any ice cream shop or grocery store on and around campus. Its color is bright blue so it's hard to miss (or resist). It is a sugar-packed flavor with either strong citrus tones or strong cereal flavors that will bring you back to your childhood.

3. Beer Brats

To be honest, I had never even heard the word "brats" until I stepped foot on campus. A bratwurst is a type of sausage that can be made from veal, beef, or pork. In Wisconsin, we soak and boil the sausage in beer, creating a rich flavor perfect for any gameday. 

4. Custard

Custard is not soft-serve, fro-yo, or gelato. However, it does look like a combo of all three. The kicker is that custard actually has egg-yolks in addition to milk and cream. This creates a more dense and creamy flavor. It's tradition for us Badgers to hit up Michael's Frozen Custard for some super Insta-worthy sundaes. 

5. Colectivo Coffee

Colectivo is a coffee staple of UW-Madison. Whether you're studying in the Colectivo on the heart of State Street, by the Capitol, or isolated on Monroe Street, the aesthetic beats any other coffee establishment. At Colectivo, you can either feel motivated to bang out all of your work for the day or cozy while catching up with friends. 

6. Spring Rolls 

Tsui's smile will hit you right in the feels and this spring roll will literally change your life forever. For just $3.50 you have a meal bigger than your face. You can choose from a protein of shrimp, chicken or tofu with a choice of mild, medium or spicy sauce. I crave one every day and I will wait in that hour-long line even on that random cold day during spring finals week.

7. Ian's vs. PDR

Ah, the never ending debate. If you go to UW Madison you either classify yourself as a loyal late night Ian's follower or a loyal late night PDR follower. I myself am fully devoted to the magic that is smashing two slices of spinach and feta at 1 AM in those legendary teal PDR booths. But, you have the people who say that Ian's mac n' cheese slice conquer's all. 

8. Stella's Cheesy Bread 

Oprah moment: "I LOVE bread." You haven't experienced bread until you have experienced Stella's Hot&Spicy Cheesy Bread. Smooth challah texture with gooey cheese and hints of spiciness come together to create the greatest gift the farmer's market has to offer. They even sell them in baby rolls so you can whip yourself up a sandwich during the week. 

9. Hungover Brunch at Sunroom 

Nothing better than waking up on a Friday or Saturday to a text from your crew saying: "Sunroom?" With fat omelettes, huge pancakes, create your own smoothies and fat sandwiches, it is the perfect hungover meal to bring you back to life (and reminisce about what went down the night before). 

10. Grilled Cheese at FAC

It will only cost you $1 for the most melt-in-your-mouth worthy grilled cheese on campus. No one knows why or what makes this grilled cheese so epic but it has the ideal cheese to butter to bread ratio that satisfies your drunchies. Catch us eating at least three of these at FAC each week. 

Here in MadTown, we have food traditions that can't be beat, just like the Badgers. If you haven't experienced these mainly cheese-covered and beer-battered food traditions, go cross them off your Bucky list today.