Eponymously named Chapel Hill Creamery is located near Chapel Hill in North Carolina and is home to Portia McKnight and Flo Hawley together with their small herd of Jersey cows.
Hawley and McKnight had each enjoyed long careers at Whole Foods Market and decided they wanted to get closer to the source of the food that they had sold. In the process of searching for a good milk source in order to begin making cheese, they found that they were unable to get the quality that they wanted. So, the decision was made to buy a small herd of Jersey cows and a 37-acre farm to ensure that the cows could be pasture-fed. Thus was born Chapel Hill Creamery and, in July of 2000, the first batch of cheese was produced.
Today, Portia and Flo focus on the health of their herd of 30 cows as much as the quality of the cheese that they produce. Rotational grazing is practiced on the farm and they limit milking to March through December. The results are hard to argue with, three World Jersey Cheese Awards in 2012.
Inspired by Camembert, Carolina Moon is made of pasteurized Jersey cow’s milk, giving it a different character than the traditional cheese made from the milk of Normandie cows. The name of the cheese was inspired by its appearance. It looks like the full moons seen in the Carolinas, where the cheese is produced. With a 4-week aging, the cheese has a balance of clean flavors combined with butter and hints of hay and mushrooms. The texture is yielding and unctuous.
This cheese pairs nicely with brut sparkling wines and can be served easily with fresh fruits such as apples and grapes.