Rush Creek Reserve, Almost
Editor’s Note: We at the Local Beet believe in all things local. That means local beer, local wines and local cheese. It’s not that there are not great cheeses around the world, but that there are so many great local cheeses that we (hardly ever) need to eat foreign fromage. And when a new local cheese gets so much acclaim, we send our resident caseophole Keighty out to try. She almost got it.
The New York Times and countless others have written about it, everyone’s talking about it, but will we be able to try it? The newest creation from Wisconsin’s Uplands Cheese is causing quite a stir among cheese enthusiasts. Dubbed Rush Creek Reserve, this the second variety of cheese created at Uplands. The American Cheese Society recently award it grand first to , Pleasant Ridge Reserve; the third (an unprecedented third) time this cheese received the Best in Show from the American Cheese Society. In other words, these people know what they’re doing.
Realizing I was late in the game, I was sure that there wouldn’t be any cheese left for me when I borrowed my friend’s car and drove out to Oak Park to visit the Marion Street Cheese Market late one Tuesday night – but I hoped I was wrong. Sadly, I was not. The two men behind the counter informed me that they sold out of the stuff in 24 hours. They wouldn’t get any more in until after December 1st. I was disappointed but also excited about the incredible selection of small batch local and independent creameries. I asked the man behind the counter, who introduced himself as Bernie, if he had any recommendations. He gave us samples of some of his favorites. I told him I was a sucker for cave-aged cheese, especially when it gets those calcified bits inside – so crunchy and delicious. Patrick, who I took to be in charge, told Bernie to cut off a little of his favorite cheese that fit my descriptions. But this cheese isn’t local (and not cheap for that matter) so I bought a tiny bit and will probably get some later for special occasions.
We did pick up a bit of the Crave Brothers’ ‘Les Freres’ European style cheese. The fruity, gritty rind juxtaposed against the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth center is a dreamy dessert served with fresh fruit, bread and a sparkling wine. I went home and devoured our little piece in the previously described manner.
Finishing the wine, I remembered why I had gone to the Market in the first place. I was supposed to write a piece about my experience with the new Uplands cheese. I would have to postpone this, however, seeing as there is no cheese to be tried. Yet, for what it’s worth, the boys at the Market told me it was incredible. I just emailed them to tell them I want to be notified when a new shipment arrives. Until then, we can all drool over the picture and dream of when we can taste it.