It’s the most wonderful time of the year, because it’s Rush Creek time, baby! An all-time C+C favorite, this very special cheese from Wisconsin’s Uplands Cheese Company is only available in the late fall and early winter, so we’re often counting down the days until the season’s Rush Creek hits the cheese shops. Colleen is still waiting for it to surface in Virginia, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on a wheel at the Cheese Shop at France 44 (thanks, Benjamin and Song!). And yes, it was totally worth the wait.
Colleen and I were fortunate to visit Uplands last fall as part of our Wisconsin cheese tour, when cheesemaker Andy Hatch gave us the lowdown on how he crafts this bark-wrapped beauty. The early Rush Creeks were just coming to peak, and while we sampled a few wheels he remarked he was going to give the early specimens to the pigs because he wasn’t happy with the flavor. Andy, please, please don’t give the pigs too much this year – my 2012 vintage Rush Creek was absolutely perfect for human consumption. Ripe and runny, the paste spoons up easily and goes down seductively smooth. The cheese expertly balances notes of pure cream, smoky bacon and salt, and you’ll want to savor it on its own rather than atop a cracker.
Once a shop gets in a Rush Creek shipment, they go fast, so if you haven’t already befriended your local cheesemonger, now’s the time to do it. You don’t want to miss out on this year’s model. Kudos, Andy – we can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.