Pleasant Ridge Reserve
As you can see from the picture, Wisconsin is a gorgeous state. It reminded me a lot of Vermont but without the mountains. I was there a few weeks ago because the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board invited the cheesemongers who were in the top ten at the Cheesemonger Invitational – I competed this past June in NYC. We met cheesemakers and experienced the intense pride that Wisconsinites have in their cheese. Seriously, every person we talked to - whether in the industry or not - LOVED their cheese. It was inspiring to see how much the state embraced their cheesemakers and dairy farmers.
Aaaand I got to meet one of my, and most other cheesemongers’, cheesemaker crushes, Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese. He described that one of his cheeses, Pleasant Ridge Reserve (sitting in our case right now), is made on the farm rather than in the aging caves. This means that instead of adding a bunch of cultures and complicated brines to enhance flavor, Pleasant Ridge Reserve mostly depends on the quality of the raw milk Andy gets from his own herd. It was obvious he loved this cheese with his whole heart because he face lit up when he talked about how they do as little as possible to Pleasant Ridge Reserve so the consumer can really get a sense of place when eating his cheese. You can taste the Wisconsin. He would probably hate to hear this, but it was freakin’ poetry, and we all loved it, of course!
For the love of cheese and the beautiful state of Wisconsin,