The fontina, named Alexandria, joins Red Hill Cheddar and Canebrake Gouda in the regular rotation of cheeses at Yellow Moon. The cheeses also become the base for a variety of additions. The gouda gets spiced up with a variety of home-grown peppers. Delicate truffles are added to the fontina. (Garfrerick’s Café in Oxford makes a killer gourmet mac-and-cheese with that truffled fontina cheese.)
And now cheesemakers David Wright and Corey Hinkel are experimenting with adding dark porter beer to the cheddar cheese.
The alcohol in the beer cooks off during cheesemaking, leaving beautiful, dark, marbled veins throughout the cheese. To deepen the color, Wright will sometimes add a bit of chocolate, as well. He jokes that if he’s marketing the cheese to Episcopalians, he’ll call it “beer cheese.” For Baptists, though, it’s “chocolate cheese.”
A version of chocolate cheese with pecans is also in the works; look for it closer toward the holidays.
Last month, Yellow Moon sold a record-breaking 1,000 pounds of cheese in a week. The bulk of the sales are in Atlanta. There’s usually a small selection of the artisan cheeses available in the store at Wright Dairy, 241 Cane Creek Farm Road, Alexandria, 256-820-1020.