As America's Dairyland and the country's largest purveyor of cheese (2.2 billion lbs. annually), Wisconsin and its natives have endured derogatory "cheesehead" references and cheesy ridicule since-well, forever. Never one to have a cow over name calling, former cabinet maker and resident cheesemeister, Ralph Bruno, created his own specialty cheese topping to rebut these critics.
Before heading to a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game in 1987, this whiz carved a wedge from his mother's sofa cushion, spray painted it bright yellow, added some holes and wore it as a hat during the game. Fans instantly took to his creative "Cheesehead" couture, transforming this once stinky slur into an icon of Wisconsin pride, and a booming business for the crown's craftsman.
Bruno's Foamation Incorporated has been cutting the cheese ever since for Packer fans, Fortune 500 companies and California movie studios. And Foamation has expanded its holey product line to include cowboy hats, firefighter helmets and baseball caps.
Although the Cheesehead now comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, Bruno's original is on display at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in the state capital of Madison. When taking your picture along side this memorable head gear, make sure you don't forget to say, "cheeeese!