Alabama’s Belle Chevre is now producing an award-winning new cheese
It’s a new dawn at Belle Chevre, which has been making nationally and internationally recognized artisanal goat cheese in north Alabama for three decades.
Some three years after buying the Elkmont fromagerie, Huntsville entrepreneur Foster McDonald is expanding Belle Chevre’s lineup with CHEVOO, a brand of jarred goat cheese cubes marinated in infused extra-virgin olive oil.
Founded in 2015 and originally made in northern California wine country, CHEVOO became a cult classic among cheese aficionados but fell casualty to the pandemic economy and shut down in early 2022.
McDonald purchased the brand and the company’s equipment in June, moving its production to Belle Chevre’s home base in Limestone County.
CHEVOO — the name is an amalgam of the French word for goat cheese, chevre, and the popular acronym for extra-virgin olive oil — is a product with a pedigree. It won a gold medal in its category on Nov. 2 at the 2022-2023 World Cheese Awards in Scotland. CHEVOO also has won multiple awards from the American Cheese Society.
It’s made by blending herbs, truffle and even pollen into goat cheese. The cheese is cubed and jarred in premium olive oil that’s been infused with herbs.
Foster McDonald has brought CHEVOO into the Belle Chevre fold. (contributed)
The current CHEVOO lineup includes:
- Smoked salt and rosemary
- Dill pollen and garlic
- Italian Black Truffle
- Urfa Chili and Lemon
- Herbes de Provence
The CHEVOO cheese flavored with herbes de Provence — a French-style dried herb blend that often includes savory, rosemary, thyme and lavender — was this year’s World Cheese Championship gold medal winner.
Using oil to extend the shelf life of cheeses is popular along the Mediterranean. But CHEVOO’s roots are in Australia, where a similarly made brand, Meredith Dairy, is distributed nationally. After moving to California, Australian ex-pats Gerard and Susan Tuck founded CHEVOO in 2015 to recreate that taste from home.
Sold in four-ounce jars, CHEVOO…