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RIP Rush Creek Reserve Cheese

By Erika Kubick in Food on Aug 20, 2014 7:00PM

(Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese/Photo: Erika Kubick)
At Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Wisconsin Andy Hatch makes one of the most decorated artisanal cheeses. That cheese is Pleasant Ridge Reserve, a raw cow's milk cheese aged at least 6 months on wooden planks, with a sweet, nutty characteristic similar to Gruyere. Up until this year, Hatch also made Rush Creek Reserve, a raw milk beauty with a washed-rind, wrapped in spruce bark and aged 60 days. Modeled after the younger French cheese Mont d'Or, Rush Creek Reserve had the consistency of frosting with the mouthwatering, smoky flavors of bacon grease.

Newly imposed regulations may require aging periods for raw milk cheeses that exceed 60 days, which is the current standard for both domestic and imported raw milk cheeses. if Uplands were to continue making Rush Creek Reserve, by the time it completed the two month aging period, the cheese may be illegal. If the cheese were to age longer, and meet the new criteria for aging, it would likely become overripe unlike Pleasant Ridge with just gets better with age. Because of the FDA's war on raw milk cheeses, Hatch has decided to cut his losses and cease production of Rush Creek Reserve.

Read more on the short life of Rush Creek Reserve in this article by Michael Gebert in the Chicago Reader. If you haven't tried Pleasant Ridge before, you best get yourself a wedge, and quickly before the FDA declares further war on wood-aged cheeses.