Each fall, we wait with bated breath for the release of Rush Creek Reserve, one of our favorite ooey-gooey washed rind cheeses from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin. Available for a short time each year – from early November through December, it is a cheese worth savoring (and celebrating)! Cheesemaker Andy Hatch spent time in the Jura region of France apprenticing with artisans to learn how the famed Vacherin Mont d’Or is made, and brought those lessons back here to the U.S. to produce the first Vacherin-style cheese in the states.
Each wheel is creamy and ridiculously unctuous – you can literally eat it with a spoon! Just let the wheel temper for an hour or so, grab your favorite loaf of bread, and schmear away with reckless abandon. The cheese tastes of cultured cream, toasted nuts, beef stock, and grass – a robust, yet delicate combination of gustatory sensation that will leave you clamoring for another bite. Makes a perfect Thanksgiving table centerpiece – or a perfect gift for that food-lover you love this holiday season!
In Europe, Vacherin Mont d’Or is made in the early fall, when the cows have come down the mountain from their high Alpine pastures to graze a bit closer to the farm. During this time their diet shifts from fresh pasture to cut hay supplemented with grain. The resulting milk is richer and higher in butterfat, allowing for more decadent and buttery cheese to be eked from it. Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Wisconsin follows a similar seasonal pattern. They make their Pleasant Ridge Reserve when the cows are out on pasture during the summer months, and then switch gears and craft Rush Creek Reserve when the cows come off the pasture and go on their richer winter diet. It seems that even cows like to indulge and pack on the pounds in winter!
So don’t delay! Order your wheel of Rush Creek Reserve before this year’s supply runs out!