Fifth in a Series of Seven posts on Wisconsin Farmstead and Artisan Cheeses
by Bill Anderson
Uplands Cheese Company in Dodgeville, Wisconsin is a farmstead creamery which produces the famed Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese.
They seasonally milk about 160 cows, using rotational grazing, and produce this raw milk gruyere-style cheese, inspired by the French alpine cheese Beaufort. When young, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has a brothy and meaty flavor. As it ages, it develops a sweet and savory caramelized flavor, with deep and complex aromas from the pastures on which the cows graze.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve is probably the most decorated cheese in the United States. It has won the Best of Show at the American Cheese society 3 different times, and the best of show at the U.S. Cheese Championship once — the only cheese to ever win the “Best of Show” at both competitions.
When it was first made, Pleasant Ridge was produced at neighboring Cedar Grove Cheese factory (which will be covered in a future post) by Uplands owner Mike Gingrich and his wife Carol, before they built the farmstead creamery.
Now, a decade later, Uplands is preparing to release their second cheese under the supervision of cheese maker Andy Hatch. Rush Creek — modeled after the French alpine cheese Vacherin Mont D’or — is a rich and savory soft ripened cheese produced in the fall and winter once the pastures stop growing and the cows are eating stored feed.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek can be purchased at many local cheese shops, and online at www.uplandscheese.com.
Bill Anderson is 25 year old cheese maker, now living in Ohio. Born in Wisconsin, and raised on lots of Wisconsin cheese, he became interested in raw milk and artisan dairy in his early 20?s, at local farmer’s markets and local food functions. Bill worked for a number of years as a cheese monger, and is now poised to begin producing artisan raw milk cheese from some of the best organic and sustainable dairy farms.
Tomorrow, Bleu Mont Dairy.