Cheese Club June 11th | Moon Rabbit from Deer Creek Cheese
Somehow we’ve gotten this far into cheese club without hitting a true cheddar – unless you count Red Rock, but a blue cheddar strikes me as an unusual bird! If we need to kick off our journey through cheddars, a selection from Deer Creek is a wonderful place to start. Deer Creek is the name of the award-winning collaboration between owner Chris Gentine and Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Kerry Henning. Together, they create technically flawless cheddars, shaped by Chris Gentine’s mad scientist approach to flavor. Other Deer Creek so-weird-it’s-good combinations include: tequila and habanero; cream-infused blue cheese and juniper berries.
Moon Rabbit’s base cheese is a tried and true Wisconsin cheddar. If Vermont cheddars are acidic and bombastic, Wisconsin cheddars are mild-mannered but never under-flavored, sweet, and wonderfully smooth. Deer Creek then takes these “daisy” wheels – 22lb cheddar wheels – and bathes them in green chartreuse. To quote the cheesemaker: “The Chartreuse adds a delicate herbal bouquet with hints of cloves, citrus, rosemary, and thyme that beautifully complements the cheese’s creaminess while imparting a light green hue.” I agree! Bathing cheese in wine, liquor, beer, you name it, is as old as cheese itself and plays up this foundational, symbiotic relationship: booze makes cheese tastes better; cheese makes booze taste better.
Moon Rabbit is the perfect no-fuss cheese to throw in your bag ahead of a hike or take to a party–or leave out all Sunday and snack on intermittently. I was gifted a bottle of chartreuse a few weeks ago, so I’m planning on going 1:1 on my pairing with a chartreuse old fashioned. This is such a pairing friendly cheese that I think you’d be happy with just about anything, but a beer with any kind of sweeter, maltier edge or a sweeter wheat beer would be a great addition.
American cheese (you know…the orange square stuff) was originally invented by James Lewis Kraft in his Chicago apartment in the early 1900s. His original recipe? Throw cheese in a pot, give it high heat, stir for around 15 minutes. The result? Formless, goopy, separated, bacteria-less cheese mess that you can pour into any shape. Yum!