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Sensational Seasonals

November 15, 2022

Sensational Seasonals
If artisanal cheeses are your passion, let us introduce you to your newest obsessions. And if these gems weren’t already special enough, their creative flavors and insider stories will make spirits extra bright. Whether handcrafted with winter milk, infused with signature ingredients or expertly aged, these sophisticated seasonal discoveries are worthy of savoring and celebration. Hear from our ingenious Wisconsin cheesemakers who’ve been busy in their cheese vats making these holiday must-haves just for you and learn why they need to be on this year’s menu.

Only From Wisconsin
Add these specialties to party platters or your favorite recipes—they’ll make any meal a special occasion. Or are you looking for unique gift ideas? Give the gift of the best cheeses in the world! There’s a block, wedge and wheel for everyone on your list, and always a new one to try.

fondue

Rush Creek Reserve Cheese | Uplands Cheese Company

Mark your calendars! Produced only in fall and released in November, this coveted farmstead cheese often sells out before the holidays. Its savory meaty notes and delicate richness are courtesy of the high-quality milk from Upland Cheese’s own dairy when the cows transition from grazing on lush summer pasture to winter’s dry hay in autumn. Each wheel is brined and wrapped in spruce bark, which imparts a sweet, woodsy flavor. The wheels are then aged and washed with a mother culture to express the flavor complexity of the milk while the cheese develops. Serve this soft cheese at room temp, or gently warmed, with its top rind removed. Dip or spread its luxurious, custard-like paste on bread, roasted veggies and cured meats. Pair with an off-dry white wine.

“Rush Creek Reserve is special because it’s meant for sharing during the holidays,” says head cheesemaker Andy Hatch. “It’s an indulgent cheese meant to be eaten in one sitting. Rush Creek Reserve often finds itself at the center of special occasions, not unlike a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas ham or a bottle of Champagne. This creates a lot of special memories for our customers.”

rush creek reserve cheese and charcuterie platter

Make it: Rush Creek Reserve Cheese and Charcuterie Platter

woman in kitchen

Cranberry Cheddar Cheese | Henning's Wisconsin Cheese

Sweet, spice and everything nice—that’s what delicious holidays are made of. Discover a blend of good ingredients in Henning’s white cheddar studded with sweet cranberries. Upgrade appetizers and cheese boards with this seasonal treasure that’s just one of the innovative cheddars this fourth-generation cheesemaking family offers nationwide. Maybe you have a spicy palate? Give Henning’s Chipotle Cheddar a try.

“Inspiration for my flavors comes from many places but mostly from listening to our customers,” shares Kerry Henning, a certified, three-time Master Cheesemaker and board member for the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® Program. “I’m also inspired by what’s around me,” he continues. “A recent example happened on a vacation to Kentucky when visiting a small distillery during a bourbon trail experience. It got me thinking that adding bourbon to cheese may provide an interesting nuance.”

cranberry chipotle cheddar wonton cups

Make it: Cranberry Cheddar Wonton Cups

cheddar cheese and cherries in jar

15-Year Sharp Cheddar Cheese | Hook’s® Cheese Company

Calling all cheddar connoisseurs! Available in November, this 15-year-old cheddar cures in caves at just the right temperature and humidity to ensure a one-of-a-kind cheese. Cheddar babied this long develops complex savoriness with pockets of caramelized intensity. Some may even call it cheddar perfection.

“As the cheddar ages to 15 years, it starts smoothing out and ends up with more cheddar flavor as it loses some of its acidity,” explains cheesemaker Tony Hook. “It also develops a lot more calcium lactate crystals.” (If you’re from Wisconsin, you know these crunchy bits of goodness are prized by cheese lovers everywhere.) Enjoy this artisanal treat solo, or pair it with a full-bodied wine or a bigger, bolder bite that can stand up to its intense richness, such as brandied cherries or bittersweet chocolate.

Each batch at Hook’s® Cheese Company is taste tested to ensure only the highest-quality cheeses continue to undergo the aging process. Want to try something even rarer? Be on the lookout for their next release of limited Hook’s 20-year-old cheddar. It’s definitely worth the wait.

spiced brandied cherries with aged cheddar cheese

Make it: Spiced Brandied Cheddars with 15-Year Cheddar

stuffed duchess potatoes

Little Mountain Cheese | Roelli Cheese Haus

Created in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research in Madison, this alpine-style cheese is a dream come true for fromage fans and Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli. It’s a wash-rind, raw milk cheese made in the Appenzeller style, which means that it is crafted with traditional copper equipment and carefully added cultures to give it flavors specific to Alpine mountain cheese. This smallbatch, aged beauty boasts a smooth and nutty taste underscored by grassy, fruity notes, similar to those of gruyère and emmentaler, that pay homage to Chris’ Swiss cheesemaking heritage.

Winning “Best of Show” at the 2016 American Cheese Society Competition for Little Mountain is something Chris holds dear. “It was a surreal moment,” he recalls. “It was emotional to finally realize that you have put together a team that can produce some of the best cheese in the world. The first call was to my dad. He was the person that fostered my ability to make cheese. He was very excited and proud.”

gouda stuffed duchess potatoes

Make it: Alpine-Style Stuffed Duchess Potatoes 

woman at dinner table pouring gravy

Tennessee Whiskey BellaVitano ® | Sartori® Cheese

Recent Gold Medal winner at the 2022 International Cheese & Dairy Awards, Sartori’s beloved BellaVitano® is soaked in Tennessee whiskey to impart smoky, oak and caramel notes. Go ahead, eat the rind…it’s the best part of the tasting experience!

Known for its hard yet creamy texture with a crystalline crunch and buttery finish, BellaVitano® is a highly awarded Sartori family original cheese. It’s the perfect foundation for creating an array of intriguing flavors, which is why their artisan cheesemakers have soaked it in whiskey, wines and ale, and hand-rubbed it with espresso, seasonings and more.

“BellaVitano® takes on flavor so well because of the way we make it.” Master Cheesemaker Ken Kane shares. “It has great depth where different flavors complement the BellaVitano® attributes. There are elements of parmesan with savory and nutty notes. There are elements of fruity and tanginess. The applications we have created inspire, enhance and highlight those flavors that are already nuanced and balanced with each bite.”

beef wellingtons with cognac cheese sauce

Make it: Beef Wellingtons with Bourbon Cheese Sauce

woman and man holding plates of food sitting on couch

Gouda Clove Cheese | Marieke® Gouda

Spiked with spices and cinnamon undertones, get all the warmth of the holidays when you sample this buttery farmstead gouda cheese. This raw milk cheese is masterfully made by cheesemaker Marieke Penterman, who learned to make authentic gouda by traveling from Wisconsin to her native Netherlands to train with two cheesemakers. Four months after Marieke crafted her first batch of gouda in 2006, she won Gold at the 2007 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. Marieke® Gouda has won approximately 180 awards for their cheeses. Each wheel is handcrafted with cultures, herbs and spices imported from Holland and aged on Dutch pine planks for a minimum of 60 days.

Marieke’s other key ingredient? Her passion for modern family farming. “Part of the secret to our farmstead cheese is in the milk,” says Marieke. “We use only fresh milk from our own gouda ladies; we do not mix milk from another farm into our cheese vat. That means our customers know exactly where their cheese comes from—farmstead cheese is a guaranteed mark of quality and excellence.”

apricot gouda rugelach

Make it: Apricot-Gouda Rugelach

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