Monday, February 11, 2008

Ocooch Mountain Cheese

A new Wisconsin raw-milk, cave-aged sheep’s milk cheese crafted by Brenda Jensen, of Hidden Springs Creamery, is selling briskly with chefs and at retail shops throughout the Midwest.

Ocooch Mountain Cheese, named for the Jensens' hilly terrain in western Wisconsin’s Driftless area, is nearly out of stock, but Jensen expects her next set of 1- and 2-pound wheels to be ready in about 30 days.

Last week, Jensen was sampling her last wheels of the washed-rind mountain-style cheese at Fromagination in Madison, Wis. After customers tried it, the store promptly sold out of most of her cheeses, including Driftless, her fresh sheep's milk cheeses that come in a variety of flavors.

The past two months have been extremely busy for the Jensens, as Brenda and her husband Dean are caring for more than 300 baby lambs born already this year. The Jensens milk 140 ewes and “have lost count” of how many other sheep they raise, Brenda says with a grin. Most of her ewes have twins, with triplets and quadruplets also common.

Jensen has also created a specialty just in time for Valentine’s Day – a fresh sheep’s milk chocolate truffle – which consists of hand-formed balls of her natural Driftless cheese dipped in dark chocolate. Talk about decadent! At $4.99 each, these babies are worth every cent. The truffles will also be available on a custom-order basis year round - just give Brenda some notice.

3 comments:

Sylviambt said...

Bought this cheese at the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis. Had it for lunch with a crusty levain boule (home-made) and red wine. Outstanding. No wonder it's nearly out of stock.
Sylvia@artisanbreadcheeseandwine.com

Sylviambt said...

Bought this cheese at the Minneapolis (MN) Wedge Food Co-op. (They've got a great selection of locally-produced artisan cheeses.) Had the Ocooch Mt Cheese with some crusty levain (home made) and red wine. Heaven. The cheese was outstanding. No wonder it's nearly out of stock.
Sylvia@artisanbreadcheeseandwine.com

Winebibber said...

"The Jensens milk 140 ewes and “have lost count” of how many other sheep they raise, Brenda says with a grin."

Did she say this with a sheepish grin?