Organic Cheese Takes “Best in Show”… Again!

If there was any doubt that organic tastes better, here’s even more evidence! At the recent American Cheese Society Competition in Seattle, an organic cheese called Extra Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company, located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin beat out 1,462 artisanal cheeses from around the country to take home the Best in Show award. This is the third time for this unique cheese, having previously taken home the prize in 2001 and 2005. As a cherry on top (or maybe a black olive on top would taste better), the cheese is the only one to win both the American Cheese Society Competition and the US Championship (which it won in 2003.)

Now that you’ve heard the accolades, you’re probably wondering what makes this cheese so unique. According to the Cheese Impresario Barrie Lynn Krich, the secret may be in the cow’s feed.

“Mike [Gingrich] only makes this one cheese, and he only makes it when his own herd of cows are on fresh clovers, grasses, herbs, and flowers,” says Krich.

Gingrich has really gone back to the basics. The single herd of cattle that is used to make the cheese are managed using natural, “old world” practices, and the aging techniques used are those developed during the Middle Ages when cheese was aged in limestone caves!

The result is a cheese that is reminiscent of French Gruyere-style with sweet flavors of pasture grasses and wildflowers. It’s usually eaten as a table cheese, and is great in soups, fondues, gratins, omelets, or as an appetizer in itself. You can watch Kirch try the cheese along with Laura Klein in this video.

Does all this talk of cheese have your mouth watering? You can buy some to try for yourself and learn more about the award-winning cheese on

Photo Credit – Erin.KKR