Cheese in British Columbia - Moonstruck
Fine Farmstead Organic Cheeses from Salt Spring Island
These makers of fine organic cheese on Salt Spring Island use the fragrant milk from their own small herd of purebred Jersey cows. They have about 25 cows in total. Depending on the season, they milk between 12 and 20 cows. The cows are treated well as they are the foundation of the company. The healthier and happier they are, the more sweet and fragrant their milk is. Organic management is used throughout the farm meaning good food, no drugs, no chemicals, free access to the outside world and lots of opportunity to interact socially with other members of the herd.
Julia Grace (cheese-maker) and Susan Grace (farm manager) have been producing cheese at Moonstruck since 1998. All of Moonstruck cheeses are made from raw milk in small batches. The job of the cheese-maker is not only to transform milk into cheese but to preserve as much of that fragrant flavour as possible during the process. That is why they use simple, old-fashioned recipes. All of their cheeses develop natural rinds because they believe that good cheese, like good wine, needs to breathe.
Some favourite pairings:
Pinot Blanc & White Moon: White Moon is a surface-ripened bloomy rind cheese, milder than a Camembert. The easiness of the Camembert works well with the pear and apricot flavours that come through in the Pinot Blanc. The rich mouth feel of the Pinot Blanc compliments the richness of the Camembert.
Sauvignon Blanc & Savoury Moon: Savoury Moon is dusted with organic summer savoury following a great tradition from the south of France. The herb infuses the cheese inside the breathable wrapper giving a woodsy, herbal note to the cheese. This herby earthiness marries well with the crisp and clean Sauvignon Blanc.
Gamay Noir & Ash Ripened Camembert: This earthy creamy cheese works well with the juicy vibrant acidity that is Gamay Noir. Try it with some savory crackers and a little berry compote.
Pinot Gris & Tomme d'Or: Tomme d'Or is a cooked curd cheese similar to the Alpine cheeses of Europe. Made to age long, it becomes a grating cheese when it is over a year old. Made from raw milk, the curd is very slowly heated so that the curds shrink and mat to form a smooth, buttery texture that becomes increasingly firm with age. The nutty flavour of this cheese will lend itself to the Pinot Gris's acidity and notes of stone fruit. Enjoy with a spicy peach marmalade.
During the summer months, you can find their cheeses at the Salt Spring Saturday Market and at the Tuesday Farmer’s market from 2-6 pm.
The farm store is open Mon-Sat from 11-4pm (but only softly open on Sundays for those who are truly desperate).