I keep meaning to do a winter gift guide, but all I want to do is talk about Rush Creek. It is the meaning of Christmas, the star of David, the liquid heart of Santa – yes, yes, it is all of these things rolled into a cheese and bound with bark.
1. Rush Creek is made by Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin, the same folks who make Pleasant Ridge Reserve -- easily the most decorated cheese in America.
2. Cheesemaker Andy Hatch spent months perfecting this beauty. He uses unpasteurized milk so he had to develop a slow maturation process in order to legally sell these wheels (raw milk cheese must age 60 days or more).
3. If you’ve had Vacherin Mont d’Or, this is the U.S. equivalent – it’s made by hand using extraordinary milk from well-loved cows.
4. Rush Creek has the texture of unset pudding – its center is molten. You will want to spoon it into your lover’s mouth. Check out the New York Times photo.
5. Culture Magazine’s winter centerfold? Rush Creek.
If you have a trusted cheesemonger, ask him or her to order this cheese for you. Prepare to spend about 30 bones, and don’t blanch at the thought. Andy Hatch has a baby, and he needs to earn a living. Cheesemaking is hard work – it requires milking cows twice a day, tending the land on which they graze, and then becoming trained in the art of hand-crafted cheese.
When you eat Rush Creek, you are eating a little bit of Van Gogh.
|For a perfect pairing, eat Rush Creek with a starry Riesling. ( Photo by Stefania Patrizio)|