While in Wisconsin, The Lady made a nuisance of herself by constantly telling Robert, the tour guide, that she really wanted to buy a wedge of Upland Cheese’s Pleasant Ridge Reserve, the only cheese to twice win the American Cheese Society’s Best of Show (2001 and 2005). The first day they stopped at Woodman’s, which didn’t sell Pleasant Ridge. Finally on the last morning they stopped in Waterloo at Jim’s Cheese Pantry, which proudly claims it has more cheese carvings than any other Wisconsin cheese shop, and there tucked in a corner with other specialty cheeses were two wedges of Pleasant Ridge. The Lady bought one and Amy, her BCFF, bought the other.
PRR is an artisanal cheese made from raw milk of a single herd of pasture-fed cows. This cheese is made using Old World practices that produce a mountain-style cheese similar to those from the alpine regions of France and Switzerland. It might be compared to Gruyere and Comte, always favorites around the manse.
Mike Gingrich is the cheesemaker and PRR is the only cheese he makes and only in the summer or maybe into the fall if the rain continues and the pastures hold up for grazing. The cheese is aged in “caves” for six months to two years… and is worth the wait.
PRR is a hand-washed cheese using brine and microbes that enhance the flavor and inhibit growth of bad stuff. As it ages, those wonderful little flavor crystals start to grow that add more layers of flavor including a beefy taste combined with a tropical fruitiness. This is one great cheese.
You can probably do a lot of things with this cheese; but not around the manse – we simply eat it.
Serving Suggestions: On a plate. You don’t need to add a thing but if you want, you can add a few grapes and slices of pears.
Wine Pairing: Syrah
Beer Pairing: Hard Cider
Awards: Many, including twice Best of Show by the American Cheese Society
Source: Raw Cow Milk
Watch the video of Mike Gingrich telling us how he makes Pleasant Ridge Reserve: