Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 719: The newest cheese crush...

Located in Southwestern Wisconsin, in what's known as the "Driftless region" is Hidden Springs Creamery run by Brenda Jensen and her husband.

What is the significance of the Driftless region you might be wondering?  It is a part of Wisconsin that seemingly was overlooked by the glaciers present in that part of the world during the ice age. No salt, sand, rocks, etc (drift) here -- this area is full of rolling hills and valleys excellent for sheep grazing.

Now Jensen and her husband produce five different cheeses - a feta, a blue, a creamy sheep's milk spreadable cheese (think chevre style), and two firmer cheeses. One of which is my new cheese crush -- Ocooch Mountain. Named for the nearby mountain range which derived its name from a small Indian tribe known as the Ocooch, this is a wonderfully dynamic and flavorful raw sheep's milk Alpine style cheese infused with the local terroir. Aged for anywhere between three and four months, this is a dense grassy, nutty, butterscotchy, round cheese with light barnyardy hay notes and that classic aged crystallization and crumbly-ness. This is an honest, humble, and delightful cheese that is the product of lots of love and care. An excellent example of American artisanal cheesemaking at its finest. Definitely worth heading over to Murray's Cheese to pick up a morsel.

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