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Rush Creek Reserve, Grand Margaux, Flagsheep and Flora Nelle – A Perfect 4 Paws New Year’s Eve Cheese Board

“Before”

The Lady built a fine cheese board for New Year’s Eve; all cheeses that had been Holiday gifts for moi… but being the ever-gracious Feline Foodie, I shared with her and The Man.

Two cheeses were already favorites around The Manse and two were new and had not been reviewed…

We began with the new Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin. this cheese was voted the #1 favorite cheese in my 2011 favorite cheese survey. This cheese made its debut in 2010 to great fanfare; it is a raw cows milk made in small batches and seasonal… meaning if you don’t get it this time of year… sayonara until fall 2012…

When Andy Hatch came to Uplands a few years back as the new cheesemaker, he wanted to take Uplands to the next cheese level and fashioned RCR after the French lovely, Vacherin Mont d’Or. Vacherin cannot be imported to the USA because those rat ass bastards at the FDA (The Lady’s opinion and certainly not those of this Feline Foodie…) have these pesky rules regarding raw milk cheese imports… they are dead set against it… according to The Lady, we are “ruled” by a government determined to “save us from ourselves”… but I digress.

The silky, satiny paste that you can eat with a spoon is one of the great cheeses of America. The twelve ounce wheel is wrapped with spruce to hold it together and then washed for sixty days while it ages and begins to develop its personality. Yes, it’s a bit stinky… it’s a washed rind but the inside of this cheese is mild, smooth with just a hint of smoke and pork. The Man swooned so furiously The Lady thought she might have to strap him into his seat. As usual, he didn’t want to share and I had to fight him 4 paws out of 4 to get my fair share… and I did…

As you can imagine, there is only one awarding for this cheese… I give Rush Creek Reserve 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

After RCR, we moved onto a French 70% Brie that The Lady introduced here at The Manse last spring during the “Send Marcella to France” contest at her cheese kiosk: Grand Margaux from Lactalis. And to no one’s surprise, The Man didn’t want to share this cheese… much like the RCR… believe me “Real Men do Eat Brie”… in fact “Real Men don’t want to Share The Brie”… and that’s a shame… I have previously awarded this cheese 4 paws and that designation remains safely intact…

The 3rd cheese on the board was another 4 Paws designated cheese from my favorite Cheesemakers at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: Flagsheep. A combination of cow and sheep milk, Brad Sinko has, once again, delivered a divine cheese. The Lady served this one with Original Beecher’s Crackers and Pina Colada Jam from Rogue Valley’s Vintners Kitchen. It was a perfect pairing.

“During”


The last cheese, while never reviewed here on the website, was one The Lady brought home after she got Rogued at Rogue Creamery this past summer: Flora Nelle, the newest blue made my Cary Bryant and David Gremmels at Rogue Creamery. It is named after their grandmothers… who would be so proud… a bit lighter in flavor than their Crater Lake, Flora Belle has a fruity flavor with a strong, savory finish. It’s already winning awards and promises to give World-Class Blues a run for their money… it is also Gluten-Free and made with Organic-Certified Whole Milk using sustainable practices… as has been said here many times… Rogue Creamery walks the walk…

I give Flora Belle 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

In addition to the Beecher’s Crackers, The Lady also served 34 Degree Natural Crispbread Crackers and Artisan Pear Spread from Idaho’s Litehouse Foods. And The Lady and The Man enjoyed a couple bottles of Proseco from Italy with their cheeses… as usual, I was denied participation in the bubbly… sheesh… humankinds and their silly mores…

The “After” picture would have shone nothing – everything disappeared over the course of another Perfect New Year’s Eve with The Lady and The Man!!!

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