Monday, December 19, 2011

It's so easy bein' cheesy

Cheesons Greetings!

Oh, how we are caught off guard by the holidays every year. They seem so far off all year long, then, just like that, they're here. I am among those of you who have done very little shopping so far. My family tends to keep gift giving simple around the holidays, so I don't have a super long list. But there are definitely a few things I need to pick up between now and the end of the week when I hop on a plane. How about you? Still on the lookout for a few, or perhaps quite a few, gifts?

If there's a food lover on your list, I hope you'll keep the 'Rind in mind. Whether the lucky recipient is near or far, we've got you covered!

Here are a few gift ideas for your favorite curd nerd...
  • A wedge or round of a special cheese like Rush Creek Reserve or Rogue River Blue. Taste bud bliss.
  • Basket of local goodies: Bathtub Gin amazing fruit spreads, honey, Olive and Sinclair chocolate. Happiness.
  • A Bloomy Rind gift certificate. Let 'em pick out their faves for themselves. (Porter Road Butcher also has gift certificates available!)
  • A subscription to Culture Magazine. Order online then pick up a hard copy at the shop to wrap and give. (Use code 'holiday' for a discount)
  • Cheese books. I filtered the list down a bit to hopefully make it quick and easy.
  • A beer and cheese class. There are two planned through USN's Evening Class program: one each at Jackalope (#454) and Yazoo (#451).
  • Or blow their minds with a combination of these treats!

Shop hours this week:
Tue-Fri, 10am-8pm
Saturday, Christmas Eve: 10am-2pm

Thursday, December 1, 2011

'Tis the cheeson!

Serve up the best dang dish at the holiday party!

To order a cheese or cheese n' meat plate, please fill out the information below and do one of the following: (1) print this out and drop it by the shop, or (2) email the relevant info below to

Please place orders at least 24 hours in advance. Orders for Christmas Eve pickup need to be in by Thursday, Dec 22. I'll send you a confirmation email once I receive your order.

What size cheese plate would you like? (serving sizes based on 2 oz per person and included )
[ ] Small (serves up to 5) - $25
[ ] Medium (serves up to 10) - $50
[ ] Large (serves up to 15) - $70
[ ] Extra Large (serves up to 20) - $90

Would you like:
[ ] Cheese only
[ ] Cheese and charcuterie (+ $2 per person)

Charcuterie will be composed whatever is fabulous and available from Porter Road Butcher and/or Pine Street Market (Altanta)

Each plate includes one baguette for every five people.
Do you want additional baguettes for $2.50 per loaf?
] Yes, ________ loaf/loaves
[ ] No thanks

Would you prefer your plate of happiness on a disposable plate/platter or your own platter?
[ ] Disposable plate please
[ ] My own platter, and I'll drop it by the shop (at least) the day before I want to pick it up
If you need to cancel, please let me know at least 48 hours in advance of when you're scheduled to pick it up. Otherwise I will have prepared it, and you'll be responsible for the cost of it. Hopefully, that's fair.

When would you like to pick up your cheese plate?
Date: __________________

Plates can be picked up: Tuesday - Friday (12noon - 8pm) or Saturday/Christmas Eve (10am-2pm).

Your contact info:
Name _____________________________________

Phone ____________________________________

Email ____________________________________

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Wisconsin Cheese Tour: Uplands Cheese Co

Just in time for a brand new cheese arrival by the name of Rush Creek Reserve, here's a quick post with a bunch of photos from my visit to Uplands Cheese Company in Dodgeville, WI. Back in the summer, I was incredibly fortunate to be included in the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's cheese tour. WMMB graciously hosted a group of cheesemongers and cheese writers from around the country for three cheese-filled days including visits to about seven different Wisconsin cheesemakers. Like I said, incredibly fortunate.

Uplands started with a cheese called Pleasant Ridge Reserve, winner of the American Cheese Society's Best In Show award a record three times. That means it has been selected the top dog out of over 1000 cheese contest entries. Not once, not twice, but three times. Nice.

Pleasant Ridge is made only from spring and summer milk when the cows are out on pasture eating that delectable green grass. It's a hard, aged Alpine style cheese in the spirit of Beaufort and Gruyere. Read more about how the Uplands team decided to make this style here and here.

So what happens to the fall and winter milk if they only use summer milk, you might ask? Good question. For years, they would sell it to other dairies. But lucky for us, they decided to develop a new cheese that embraced the richness of the cows' winter diet of hay. Voila, Rush Creek Reserve was born. It's a luscious, soft-ripened, spruce bark-wrapped beauty made in the style of Vacherin Mont d'Or. When we were at the creamery, the very first batches of the season were in the cave. I've been looking forward to it ever since!

The ideal way to enjoy Rush Creek is to pick up a wheel, some wine and invite over some friends to share this dreamy creation. There is definitely a limited supply, so be sure to swing by the shop (501 Gallatin in East Nashville) soon or call the shop to reserve a wheel (650-4440).

Since this post doesn't really do justice to the awesomeness of Uplands, please be sure to check out the their website for lots of good information about the cheeses, the people who craft them, and the cows who magically turn grass into milk much to our delight. And here are a few reviews of Rush Creek complete with mouth watering photos:
Tasting Table, Cheese and Champagne, Janet Fletcher's cheese column for, NY Times

The ladies out on pasture

One of many awards

Cheesemaker Andy Hatch (wearing the hat) and some of my fellow tour peeps

Wheels of Pleasant Ridge aging in the 'cave'

Andy telling us about the herd

A number of different wheels for us to sample
so we could compare variations in the batches

Pulling samples for us to taste

Andy and cheesemonger Sam Chertoff rocking a lovely hair net

The rolling pastures of Uplands Cheese

Wheels are salted (instead of brined) when they first get to the cave

Wheels of newly made Rush Creek

Each and every batch has a wheel from which samples
are periodically pulled to monitor its development