Located in the town of Pine Plains in the Hudson Valley of New York State, the Amazing Real Live Food Company makes cheese and other products that include pro-biotic bacteria. The company is owned and run by Rory Chase, and long-time friend and business partner, Peter Destler. Both Rory and Peter grew up in Pine Plains, and after years away for school and careers in the food business, they came back to the Hudson Valley to work on Rory’s family dairy farm, Chaseholm Farm Creamery. The farm has been in Rory’s family since the 1930’s when his grandfather founded the dairy. Rory grew up raising prized Holsteins, a practice that he continues today with the herd of 40-50 cows. When Rory took over the family farm in 2007 after reading extensively about cheese-making, taking classes at Cal Poly and the University of Vermont, and interning at a neighboring dairy, he convinced Peter to move back and run the business together. Peter, a CIA trained chef, left his job in Santa Barbara, CA bringing his girlfriend at the time, now his wife, with him. Rory and Peter’s first task was to convert the barn, grain storage rooms, and the old pig sty and a chicken coop into a cheese-making facility, offices and aging rooms. During his time in California, Rory had worked on a lacto-fermentation method of making cheese. This enabled the inclusion of pro-biotic bacteria into the cheese, which according to Rory, also at time enhances the aroma and flavor. Among the cheeses that they produce are Queso Blanco, Herbed Farmer’s Cheeses, Camembert, Moonlight Chaorce, Stella Vallis Tomme, and an aged Gruyere style cheese. Amazing Real Live Food products are only available in the Hudson Valley at local stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants and farm stands. Moonlight Chaorce is an American take on a French classic. It is a cow’s milk cheese aged for 4 to 6 weeks, during which time the ashed exterior develops a soft bloomy white rind.
Underneath is a paste that has a succulent, gooey ring around a dense and firm center. The flavor is a balance of butter and tart with a bit of savory in the background.
Pair this cheese with crisp white wines or buttery Chardonnays. The best food pairing for Moonlight Chaource are dark berries and honey.