2012 American Cheese Month 31 Cheeses in 31 Days: Day Thirteen: Pleasant Ridge Reserve “Extra Aged”
Cheese: Pleasant Ridge Reserve “Extra Aged”
Who: Uplands Cheese
Website: Uplands Cheese
Where: Dodgeville, Wisconsin
Milk Type: cow, raw
Shape: 12×5″, 9lb wheel
Flavor: Deliciously sweet and sour; brown butter, pistachio, fruity
The American cheese that keeps on winning, always at the top or near of any competition in which it’s entered. 2001 & 2005’s ACS winner. Again in 2010, 2011 AND 2012 – the tri-fecta as the American Cheese Society Winner: Best in Show. Wisconsin cheese legacy long precedes Uplands Cheese’s success, but there is no doubt that with Cheese like Pleasant Ridge and the fabulous, seasonal Rush Creek, that Uplands is assuring that “America’s Dairyland” is about far more than curds.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve “the younger” is a spectacular cheese, a thoroughly transparent representation of the grasslands across which the cattle graze. Wonderfully crunchy, full of crystals. A stunner that blends flavors of brown butter and pistachio with a fruity sweetness and astringent tang. The “Extra Aged” means just that… this Pleasant Ridge hangs around after the others graduate and puts on several more months. The crystal growth and further deepening of flavors set it apart. It’s more dear, but much more worth it.
Simply, it’s one of the finest American cheeses in production today.
Uplands takes the utmost care in managing the ecology and practices of their Pleasant Ridge farm as well.This pastured, farmstead approach is not easy, it’s not simple. It IS worth it. As they describe, for many reasons:
There are a number of reasons to raise animals on a pasture diet:
- for the land, which suffers less erosion and chemical inputs than when cropped
- for the animals, who benefit from fresh air and exercise and have evolved with a diet of grass, not grain
- for the farmer, who doesn’t have to spend all day feeding and cleaning in a barn
- and for the consumer, who has access to the suggested health benefits of grass-fed animal products (more Vitamin E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acids)
Read more here.