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Rush Creek Reserve

January 5, 2011

This past Holiday season generated the usual hype and excitement associated with that time of year.  “I have a Holiday Party.  What cheeses should I bring?  What’s really good right now”?  Given that the Holidays are a time for sharing, this is not out of the ordinary.  What I found interesting is that among the cheesemongers, bloggers and cheese-obsessed people (I would include myself in that category) no cheese was more sought after than Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

Rush Creek is somewhat reminiscent of Vacherin d’Or from Switzerland, which is unavailable here in the US due to FDA regulations on raw-milk cheeses from Europe.  Each 12 oz wheel of Rush Creek is wrapped in spruce bark, and then washed in various bacteria solutions in order to create the orange and pungent rind.

The rind is not pleasant to eat, to say the least. It isn’t meant to be eaten, but I tried some just to experiment.  The bitter taste coupled with gritty exterior left much to be desired.  The best way to eat this cheese (this is what excited me the most) is to cut a hole in the top of a room temperature wheel and scoop out the interior with a spoon. That’s right…a spoon.

The golden paste on the interior of this wheel almost glows as the light reflects off of the rivulets of gooey cheese.  The dripping cheese has an earthy aroma that I did not expect.  Not overpowering at all, but a pleasant overtone.  The texture is simply extraordinary.  The unctuous paste completely coats your tongue and has an incredibly long and nutty finish.  The only way I can describe this is by saying that it reminds me of an incredibly earthy spoon-able Gruyère.  World…class…  My wife and I paired this with the 2009 Chenin Blanc from Paumanok Vineyards and it was fantastic.

This is a seasonal cheese made in limited quantities so it is difficult to find.  As soon as shops receive the wheels, they go right out the door.  The good news (great news actually) is that this cheese is here to stay. Talk with your cheesemonger about getting this cheese in if they haven’t ordered it already.  Try this cheese, yet another great addition to the landscape that is American artisanal cheese.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2011 6:39 am

    I loved this cheese. I had it before coming to China, a must for when I get back. Thanks for the profiles.

  2. Rebecca G permalink
    January 10, 2011 6:20 pm

    A cheese actually MEANT to be eaten by the spoonful? Um…yes, please.

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