In Life of Brian, the Monty Python boys taught us, “Blessed are the cheese makers,” and we couldn’t agree more. One local fromage-maker—Jared Jones of Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse—has us particularly thankful. The progeny of a restaurateur and pastry chef, Jones grew up around food. But he got hooked on the creamy, gooey stuff last year, developing his own Brie-like variety. “Brie is a challenging cheese, and I’m a man who likes a challenge,” says Jones.
The 26-year-old gets his milk from 250-year-old family farm Hickory Hill Milk in Edgefield. There, hormone-free cows graze in pasture 18 hours a day. The milk is pasteurized at the lowest possible temperature and isn’t homogenized in order to maintain its nutritional profile. At his unassuming facility in West Ashley, Jones and an assistant craft the milk into unbelievably smooth Battery Park: Bloomy-rind Cheese, the aforementioned creamy Brie-style, and Wild Boar: Black Truffle Cheese, a variety infused with Oregon black truffles. Turophiles can buy a wheel at Goat.Sheep.Cow. and Avondale Wine and Cheese.
“What really makes our cheese unique is that you get two distinct internal textures and flavors—a creamy, buttery, Brie-style rind, and in the middle, a fresh cow’s milk cheese with a firmer texture and a little sharpness,” he says. “The best compliments I’ve received are from visiting French, Germans, and Italians who say, ‘Wow, this tastes like the cheese I get at home.’” Locally made with an international taste—now, don’t you feel blessed?
To plan a tour of Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse, visit www.charlestoncheesehouse.com.