by Richard-Luis Morillo
If you happen to catch one of our cheese mongers on a bad day and you ask them for something from Wisconsin, you might catch them wincing for just a moment. There is little doubt that they’re thinking of some of the horrors that industrial cheese production has wrought upon the modern American diet and palette. Give them a second to collect their thoughts and perhaps, wipe a tear and they’ll direct you to Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company. This cheese helped to lead the American artisan cheese renaissance and is just about the polar opposite of Wisconsin’s factory made cheese.
Uplands Cheese Company was formed in 1994 in the green, rolling hills of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. In the short time since its birth, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has managed to collect a startling number of awards, winning best in show at the US championship cheese contest and twice taking the same title at the American Cheese Society conference. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is an alpine style cheese, one to rival even the richest Beauforts and Comtes. The decision to make an alpine style cheese was made after carefully examining the ideal cheese for their milk, which is high in fat and rich in micro flora. In other words, the cheese makers at Uplands Farm allowed the land they were on and the milk that they had to dictate the product they would make as opposed to formulating an idea first and then trying to make the pieces they had fit.
The resulting cheese contains a rich yet subtle array of flavors, ranging from the clover and grasses of the summer wheels to the deeper hazelnut flavors that can be found in the older autumn and winter wheels (no new milk in the frigid Midwestern winter). Occasionally you’ll even be able to try one of our house aged wheels at our Rittenhouse Square location, where we continue the aging process in our cheese caves in order to draw out a deeper & more powerful flavor. We think you’ll find that Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a rewarding taste experience at any age and a strong argument for producing cheese the old fashioned way.