LA CROSSE – As the flakes started to come down Monday morning, Dominic DeCascio shook his head and went to grab tarps. He called out to his farmhands and they started covering up the fledgling sprouts. Once they were done, they piled into the house while Dominic’s wife made everyone espresso.
The DeCascio family have been mozzarella farmers for six generations, having brought the heirloom curd all the way from Sicily back in 1843 during the Grate War. When they moved the family farm up to La Crosse from suburban Milwaukee in the 90s – they expanded to parmesans, provolones, and even an experimental fontina crop.
“We know this industry is a big risk,” lamented Dominic. “With all the Millennials’ growing distaste for animal products and their Gen Z kids’ allergies – we’ve been so focused on rebranding, we forgot about Wisconsin’s fickle weather.”
The DeCascio Family Dairy spent a significant amount of money and time last year investing in influencers and even a SuperBowl ad, intending to make their cheese go from being “mid” to being “lit asl.” Despite landing a collab with Harry Styles – who penned the failed single “Music For A Charcuterie Board” for the DeCascios – the brand saw little ROI on the marketing campaign.
Just a few degrees’ difference can mean the difference between a velvety smooth curd that squeaks like an office chair wheel under a sweaty, overpaid CEO – and a dry, tasteless lump unfit for even a dog’s consumption. Sadly, the recent snowstorms have already begun to take their toll. This will be the first time in nearly 85 years that they’ll produce less than 1000 mozzarella balls in a season.
“The Pecorino Romano has already withered on the vine,” reported one of the farmhands. Some of the workers gasped in horror. “No! But what of the parmigiana,” cried out Mrs. DeCascio. The children could be heard wailing from the next room. “Not-a the parmigiana!”
Once the snow died down, Dominic went to check on the mozzarella bushes. The damage had already been done. “People don’t believe in climate change, but when their precious Domino’s pizza deals cost more because of the shortage, they’ll be sorry they subscribed to that QAnon horse shit.”
As the day warmed up, the farmhands and the DeCascio children began raking up the wet, clumps of mozzarella dripping down from the bushes and into the dirt. “Mama mia, my poor mozzarella bushes,” Dominic cried. “If only I had gone into hemp farming.”