You might know Upland’s for their award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve (it won “best in class” from the American Cheese Society for the past three years, and won the Best Cheese in America in 2010). Uplands makes Pleasant Ridge Reserve on their farm in Wisconsin from spring until fall using fresh, grass-fed milk. This aged, Beaufort-style cheese is pale gold with a firm texture (Beaufort is an Alpine cheese produced in the French Alps). Like a Beaufort, Pleasant Ridge Reserve is rich, smooth, and melts beautifully.
But now autumn is upon us, and as the cows’ diets rotate from fresh summer pasture to drier winter hay, Uplands makes their seasonal Rush Creek Reserve. Whereas Pleasant Ridge is an aged, hard cheese, Rush Creek is a soft, young cheese in the style of Vacherin Mont d’Or (a washed-rind soft cheese made in Switzerland and France). Made from SeptemberâŽ¯November, the 12-ounce wheels of hand-made cheese are wrapped in boiled spruce bark and are aged just two months. Rush Creek is best served slightly warm with the top of the wheel sliced off to expose the luscious, slightly pungent cheese in the center of the wheel. Spoon the creamy cheese onto a bit of baguette, take a bite, and smile. Rush Creek is just hitting the markets, so watch for it to start popping up at local cheese markets—Surdyks has it now.
If you have the time, consider checking out this episode of Wisconsin Foodie, which features Uplands Cheesemaker Andy Hatch as he makes Rush Creek Reserve. Hatch shows you how he makes it, and demonstrates his recommended serving technique.