Friday, January 18, 2008

Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese: Something Good From Wisconsin

While I'm rooting for the Giants to kick Green Bay butt on Sunday, it is a good time to remember that American's Dairyland has more than giant chunks of processed cheddar for sale. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is an aged raw milk cheese from the Uplands Cheese Company in Dodgeville, WI. This cheese, which is made from a single herd of cows, is produced only in the summer and (weather depending) the early fall. The cheese has a natural washed rind, and is aged from 6 to 24 months. I had a relatively fresh piece (pictured above), which has a tangy, nutty taste and an excellent texture. There is also a hint of sweetness. The rind, which the website for Uplands boasts about at length, is extremely attractive physically and has an interesting flavor and a bit of a crunch.

The cheese is a bit pricey at about $24 a pound at Zabar's, but is a bargain compared to British Cheeses (Neal's Yard Cheeses are caviar priced at this point) and even some European ones as the dollar goes further into the toilet.

Overall rating 4/5.

Some interesting links:

Cheese Underground, an interesting blog about Wisconsin Artisinal Cheese, has a review of Pleasant Ridge along with some food and drink pairings you can try.

The Pleasant Ridge Reserve site is full of useful cheese storage information, and also has a neat little video about how they make the cheese.

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