The House That Jack Cheese Built

It takes a certain kind of person to build a house made of 10,000 pounds of Wisconsin Monterrey Pepper Jack Cheese, and Cosimo Cavallaro is just that man. The New York artist went all the way to Powell, Wyoming, in 2001 to realize his dream. Residents of Powell — a small farming community — had mixed feelings when they first got wind of the idea. Some questioned whether the house was art, while others suggested it would draw birds and rodents. Ultimately, locals pitched in for the massive project of crumbling and melting the cheese, which was then spread on every surface of an empty house, including its furniture and television sets. There’s no word on whether the bizarre creation boosted the neighborhood’s rat and bird population, but the house came down 20 days after the first gooey mixture was applied. Chamber of Commerce head Sharon Earhart said she’s thankful for the house, because it put Powell, Wyoming, on the map. The town even threw a parade in honor of the project, complete with a cheese king and queen. For his part, Cavallaro considers the cheese house a success and appreciates the interest it drew. He now feels connected to the town, saying he “walked in as an alien and walked away as part of the town."