Don’t get us wrong, we’re happy you’re here in Wisconsin! We just can’t help but notice that you’re clearly not from around these parts. It’s not just that you’re not wearing the appropriate colors for the occasion and don’t quite understand our local culinary habits, but you’re also confused about so many things that we find completely normal, like recombobulation areas and fast food so good you’d swear it comes from your grandma’s kitchen. Here are some other ways that someone from Wisconsin knows you’re not a local.
1. You’re unaware that there’s a Packers game going on.
If it’s game day and you’re not wearing green and gold, you go grocery shopping during the game or call us while it’s on, you’re clearly not from Wisconsin.
2. You don’t order a local beer in a bar.
Of course, there are pockets of Wisconsin that inexplicably drink the beer that shall not be named (hint: it starts with a “B” and is Miller’s biggest competitor), but in most of the state, if you don’t go local, you’re making a mistake.
3. You ask where the water fountain is.
The what? Water fountains are for parks, usually have fancy statues in the middle, and probably aren’t safe for drinking. I believe you meant to say bubbler, right?
4. You order a burger on a Friday night.
Digging into a fish fry is so celebrated across the state that you can find one at Miller Park, church basement fundraisers, and everywhere in between. Therefore, there’s no excuse to not order one on a Friday night. The only question you’re allowed to not be 100 percent sure about is whether you want french fries or potato pancakes as your side.
5. You don’t put on your game face when you go shopping for cheese.
Shopping for cheese in Wisconsin is no joke — some stores have several aisles purely dedicated to our state’s favorite food. If you don’t go in prepared to look through at least 20 different types of cheddar and know what to look for to measure the freshness of the cheese curds, prepare to be overwhelmed.
6. You expect the first warm day in spring to mean that it won’t snow again.
If you’re already declaring victory over surviving the longest and darkest six months of your life at the first sign of warmer temperatures, you’ re in store for a cruel and very disappointing surprise.
7. You assume custard is just like ice cream.
If you lick into a serving of this pure deliciousness expecting the same flavor as regular ice cream, your taste buds are in for a treat.
8. You expect margarine to be offered as an option at restaurants.
Speaking of culinary surprises in the world of dairy products, don’t expect butter’s imitation when out to eat in Wisconsin. In fact, until 1967 it was illegal to even sell margarine in the state and currently, it’s still illegal to serve it unless a customer specifically requests it.
9. You assume that David Gruber must be some sort of famous celebrity.
This personal injury attorney has such a large marketing budget that he surely doesn’t need this free shout-out, but it should be noted that the ridiculous amount of pizza cutters, drawstring backpacks, and T-shirts floating around the state with his name plastered all over them often causes confusion about who our true celebrities are. Hint: one wears #12 on his jersey and the other is from Greece.
10. You look surprised that your Bloody Mary comes with a beer chaser.
Crazy toppings and ingredients in a Bloody Mary no longer set us apart in this category (although we started and perfected that trend too), but one element that still keeps us special is serving this ideal hangover cure with a beer chaser. Given the fact that Wisconsinites consume beer as if it were water, this is the perfect compliment to the loaded cocktail.
11. You look confused when we use our hands as a map.
Our neighbor to the east may be known as the “Mitten State,” but using a hand to show where Milwaukee, Door County, and that big city on the top of your wrist are also happens to work out perfectly for Wisconsin.
12. You display the expected progression of emotions when seeing General Mitchell International Airport’s Recombobulation Area.
Usually the look goes from slight horror (recombobulate what?!), to confusion (I’m standing here holding my shoes and all my stuff), to relief (Oh!), and finally gratitude as you’re given space and time to properly recombobulate yourself before getting on your flight (thank you, Milwaukee!).
13. You assume a little snow and cold weather will prevent us from grilling.
A shoveled path to the car and the grill is all we need to keep us happy in winter. And don’t be alarmed if some do it shirtless while tailgating before a Packers game.
14. You think Culvers will be like any other fast-food restaurant.
Although many food joints nowadays have adopted the fast-casual philosophy, Culvers was the first to make it work, bringing quality food in a fast-food setting right to your table with a smile. That’s not the only thing that sets it apart — it also makes it its mission to export Wisconsin to the rest of the country — causing people all over to finally understand why we won’t shut up about cheese curds, custard, and butter burgers. You’re welcome, world!