Snuggle up with some holiday cheer as OnMilwaukee shares stories of everything merry and bright in the spirit of the season.
The OnMilwaukee Ho Ho Holiday Guide is brought to you by Educators Credit Union, Harley-Davidson Museum and MillerCoors.
If there’s one cheese you should put on your list to enjoy during the holiday season, it’s Rush Creek Reserve, a beautiful soft cheese created by cheesemaker Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese that’s only available for a few short months (or less) during the late autumn and winter.
Modeled after Vacherin Mont d’Or, a decadent seasonal cheese made in the Jura region of France, Rush Creek Reserve is rich and creamy with a mild flavor that offers up hints of smoke and cured meats along with a bit of grassiness.
Unlike Uplands' other award-winning cheese, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, it’s made with rich autumnal milk from the creamery’s herd of milking cows which is aged for a minimum of 60 days in a wrapping of spruce bark.
Rush Creek reserve is best served at room temperature (let it sit out for 30 minutes before serving) or slightly warmed (wrap in foil and heat in a 200-degree oven for 18-20 minutes), when it takes on a consistency not unlike a thick fondue. It’s delicious served more traditionally with apples, slices of baguette or crackers. But it’s also phenomenal served atop rosemary roasted potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli.
Enjoy it with a dry sparkling white wine or a beautiful Chardonnay from the Jura region in France. It’s also excellent alongside a bourbon-based cocktail or a Belgian Tripel beer.
Support your local cheesemaker and order the cheese directly from Uplands (final day to order Rush Creek for Thanksgiving shipping is Tuesday, Nov. 15 at noon). You can also consider their beautiful holiday gift boxes featuring both Rush Creek Reserve and Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Wisconsin's most award-winningest cheese.
You can also look for it at a variety of local cheese shops and grocers including Larry’s Market, The Village Cheese Shop, Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative, Wisconsin Cheese Mart and the West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe. This cheese is in high demand, so call ahead to ensure its availability.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.