17
Jun 10

Pleasant Ridge Reserve (cheesy lover #86)

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A raw-milk hard cow’s cheese made in Wisconsin, and bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Inside this wedge of cheese the paste’s a bright yellow, scattered with the white dots that promise lactic acid crunch, and with cracks running the length. The rind’s crusty and brown, covered with a white residue in patches.

The texture, when I break a piece off, is somewhere between crumbly and elastic. As I chew, I can feel and hear the cheerful cracks and crunches of all the little crystals under my teeth. Taste-wise, it’s like a gouda, or possibly the creamier end of Comte. There’s a rich heartiness – plummy and slightly meaty – and smooth caramel sweetness, which develops into a slightly sharp tropical fruityness; pineapples, passionfruits and mango. There’s a hint of a green grassy flavour towards the end, and a smidge of olive.

The rind doesn’t look too appetising; brown, crusty and crumbling, and I was expecting it to be one of those rinds that’s not really designed for eating, but it’s surprisingly tasty. It’s got a slightly sandy texture. The taste of olives is magnified here, and there’s also a touch of sweet washed-rind pungency.

Hurry up if you want to try this, though! Raw-milk-management inconsistencies between the US and the EU mean that the wedge I had was from the last batch of it to sneak into the UK, for the moment.

Confession! I bought this from the non-Borough Market Neal’s yard dairy!

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