She is direct from Wisconsin, from the folks at the Uplands Cheese Co. She is a semi-soft raw cow cheese, melts wonderfully, and has a delicious nutty essence. She has also received numerous awards.
From their website:
Most notably, Best of Show at the 2005 American Cheese Society conference, an accolade it won for the second time, having been awarded Best of Show in 2001 as well. Additionally, Pleasant Ridge Reserve was named U.S. Champion at the 2003 U.S Championship cheese contest.
Funny story. I had a layover in London about 4 months ago which afforded me a night stay in the city. I was walking around Covent Garden, when it occurred to me that I could visit Neal’s Yard, the famous UK cheese distributer. After some looking, I went down this side street and found it! I was in the shop for a bit and started talking to one of the guys behind the counter, who to my surprise was American. Turns out he was from Wisconsin, and in London on a cheese exchange program, working 6 months on a farm and 6 in a store. I asked what cheese he made in Wisconsin and he said “Pleasant Ridge Reserve.” No way!
L’Explorateur is a Triple Cream French cheese with a little acidity that adds an almost-sour aftertaste to the cheese. It’s pretty amazing. It has a rocket ship on the label because the cheese was originally created in 1969, the year we landed on the moon, hence the name and rocket.
This is a review of l’Explorateur from Miguel at the Cheese Diaries:
November 05, 2003
Rocket Cheese!!!: L’Explorateur
So I tried really hard to find a french cheese to like. I found one that not only was a triple cream, but also had a rocket ship on the label! Wooooshhhhh.
I got a little dinky one. It looked like it didn’t have a rind to it at all (it was so soft) but it was defiantely bloomy. The big one they had at the store looked like a field of white grass was growing on it. Very cool. It’s a raw cow’s milk cheese.
Yes this one did have the sour taste i have come to expect from these french raw milk cheeses, but in this cheese it was finally toned down to the point that I found it enjoyable. Also this cheese has a hint of frosting to it. It tastes like a high quality frosting, and tastes a bit sweet. As all triple creams are, it is very creamy, and very spreadable. I ate it stright up though. I ate the rind too and it tasted the same as the cheese pretty much. But a little sourer. Over all I liked this cheese very much and I would put it on the short list of cheeses I would buy a second time.