For those of you that were not aware, October was American Cheese Month. It is over now, but in case you missed out and are wondering what is the single best cheese to get you up to speed with what is going right with American cheese, look no further than Pleasant Ridge Reserve. 

At the American Cheese Society annual awards it has won Best in Show more than any other cheese. When famous French affineur Jean d' Alos was asked what is the best cheese in America, he without hesitation replied, Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to visit Uplands. It was my first stop on a week long trip visiting over a dozen Wisconsin cheese makers and it was by far the most inspirational stop. At Uplands they are a farmstead operation. This means they own all their own animals, grow their own feed, make the cheese, age the cheese, everything.

In addition to going the extra DIY mile of farmstead production they go much further than they have to. They practice rotational grazing with their mixed breed cattle herd. Meaning, during the spring and summer the cows only get the top most lush layers of grass and wildflowers. During this time the milk is at its best and this is the only time when they make Pleasant Ridge Reserve and one other cheese. The rest of the year they just sell their milk to other producers.

This grazing practice creates rich nutrient laden milk perfect for production of Alpine style cheeses, which is why Pleasant Ridge Reserve is based on Beaufort (most simply described as a French Gruyere). This fall and winter be sure to come in for a taste of this raw milk beauty and see why this cheese has the strongest claim of any as best cheese in America.