Two problems: 1) Icy roads during the cold Wisconsin winter, and 2) Wisconsin dairies needing some way to dispose of tons of cheese brine.
Highway worker Moe Norby’s ingenius solution to both problems: Replacing rock salt with cheese brine on Wisconsin highways:
In the first year alone, tiny Polk County saved $40,000 in rock salt costs. Conversely, F&A Dairy saved on brine disposal costs — to the tune of nearly $30,000. “Everybody wins,” says Chuck Engdahl, F&A’s wastewater manager.
Cheese brine turns out to be a bit more aromatic than rock salt, but as Norby says: “Our roads smell like Wisconsin.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an invitation. They’re spreading cheese brine on Wisconsin roadways and so their roads “smell like Wisconsin.” We are thus invited to suggest appropriate rock-salt alternatives and local aromas for the other 49 states.
Some of these seem easy — maple syrup, bourbon, New Jersey, etc. — but completing our 50-state atlas of “smells like [state name]” jokes will take a team effort.
Let’s give it our best in comments. Can we do all 49 (plus D.C.)? Maybe two for California (northern and southern)? How about Canadian provinces? Those chiming in from outside of North America, please feel free to suggest your own local alternatives as well.