Deer Creek is one of our newest vendors on our counter at the Deli! Their collection of handmade artisan cheddars have an award-winning flavor and charming stories to go with them. Rather than cheesemakers or cheesemongers, Deer Creek prefers to call themselves “cheese hotrodders.” Their outside-the-box ideas and flavor blends truly put them in a league of their own.
Founder and licensed cheese grader Chris Gentine began Deer Creek as an answer to the international demand for exceptional American cheeses. Chris and his wife Julie founded Deer Creek in their home state of Wisconsin, the hub for all things cheese and dairy in the United States.
Deer Creek has been graced with many, many top awards throughout their history, winning both in flavor and in their hand-drawn labels. Among their many accolades, The Imperial Buck stands out–having received First Place Best in Class for Mature Cheddar at the American Cheese Society Conference and Competition, and Silver for Best USA Extra Mature/Vintage Cheddar at the International Cheese Awards.
We have our two favorites on the counter right now. We’d recommend you pick up some ASAP. These tasty cheese made their debut early in May and we quickly sold out.
The Imperial Buck
Part of Deer Creek’s animal series, The Imperial Buck is a sharp, nutty cheddar. It is carefully aged for four years— this longer aging period allows for incredible flavor development, creating an artful blend of the nuttiness and sweetness that you look for in a great cheddar. The Buck has both a “crystalline crunch” and a classic creaminess that complement each other to create a perfect bite. Deer Creek recommends pairing it with apple cider (spiced or hard) or brandy, stout, or nomadic red wines. Nibble on this cheese with cashews, dried cranberries or cherries, pumpernickel bread, and apples.
The Stag is pulled from select vats of Deer Creek’s The Fawn and aged further, developing a more intense and bold flavor. It has strong notes of toffee and butterscotch and a crunch similar to The Imperial Buck. It’s been chosen by Culture Magazine as one of the “101 Best Cheeses of the Year”! Pair this cheddar with warm spiced apple cider or Malbec, and spread it over toasted pumpernickel with charcuterie and blackberries for a fantastic combination of flavors.