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Sarah Stegner
gourmet articlesarchivesarah stegner
Farmstead Cheese
Mike Gingrich's Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a great Midwestern cheese that is definitely something to taste. He and his partner have worked hard over the past few years to produce a Beaufort style cheese called Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Mike & Carol Gingrich make the cheese and his partners Dan & Jeanne Patenaude produce the milk for the cheese from 200 cows. Over the past few years five different varieties of cow's: Holstein, Jersey's, Ayrshire, NormandyCows and New Zealand Friesian's have been crossbred to be better grazing animals. They are milked twice a day, 16 cow's at a time. The milk contains 3.4 to 4.5 percent fat which may not mean a lot to you and me but to a cheese maker its essential. The cow's feed on 300 acres of pasture planted with grasses and clovers. The farm is in Dodgeville, Wisconsin in the areas where the land was untouched by glaciers and is characterized by rolling hills known as the "uplands". That's the name of their company "Uplands Cheese Inc."

Farmstead CheeseOne thing that makes Pleasant Ridge Reserve special is that the cheese is made only in the summer and fall during the natural milking cycle of the cows. According to Mike cheese made from the milk of cows eating fresh grass as opposed to dry hay adds to the depth of flavor and sweetness in the cheese. His cheese is raw milk cheese and has a nutty flavor characteristic. When Pleasant Ridge Reserve is 4 to 6 months old it is a wonderful cheese with delicious flavors. At 10 months the characteristics of this cheese intensify. Pleasant Ridge Reserve becomes a sophisticated, incredibly full flavored masterpiece.

Mike Gingrich sells his Pleasant Ridge Reserve at the Chicago's Green City Market every third Sunday of the Month located at C.H. I. C. on Orleans and Chestnut in Chicago.

Uplands Cheese Inc
4540 County Rd. ZZ
Dodgeville, WI 53533
phone: 866-588-3443

Sarah Stegner is the Chef of The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Chicago (a Four Seasons Hotel)

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