“Mika, make a cheese board and write about it!”
Katie didn’t have to tell me twice. My roommate and I had already bought prosciutto and were planning on making a charcuterie board that week but now I got to do it for work (score!). How hard could it even be?... Just kidding. After the Cheese Chicks competition and looking at pics of boards for hours each week on social media, just making an amateur board seemed... challenging. It doesn’t help that I’m a food perfectionist, either. But that perfectionism meant I wasn’t about to back down from the challenge.
Step 1: Time to prep!
My first prep step was taken several weeks prior while visiting my parents. I had told my dad I wanted nothing more than a fancy log board to charcuterie (yes I just verbed charcuterie), so we made three of them. And by ‘we made’ I mean that I held the log while he cut off slices, sanded them, and treated them with olive oil.
I messaged the Cheese Chicks, my gold standard, over instagram and asked for advice. Here’s what they collectively told me:
Step 2: Time to pick ingredients!
The three Beehive cheeses I knew I was going to use were:
I lucked out having the entire Beehive store to work with for accoutrements. Specifically, I wanted things I knew for certain would pair or taste good with the cheeses. Each cheese had a different pairing, so I needed a variety of things. Thankfully we have a lot of friends who make things we want to eat with our cheese that also pairs well with it!
A breakdown of what I got and why I wanted it:
Now to get additional cheeses, to add a variety in texture and milk type to the board. This was getting complicated, but I was in it to win it.
I drove from work straight to the Harmons at City Creek in Salt Lake City where I chatted with Matt, the incredibly helpful cheesemonger. He recommended:
Lastly, I asked for further accoutrement recommendations, in case I had missed something (I had, it was fruit). “Persimmons,” he suggested. Persimmons were in season and definitely in stock at the store. I thanked him profusely for his help and bee lined it to the produce section.
There were no persimmons.
I checked four more stores for persimmons because once my mind is set on something I can’t let it go, darn it! I couldn’t find them anywhere. I knew I couldn’t keep doing this to myself, so while at a Trader Joe’s I just purchased an apple pear, mangoes, blackberries, and two blood oranges to fill the persimmon shaped hole in my heart.
Step 3: Time to charcuterie!
Board 1: Barely Buzzed, Red Hawk, Chollerhoker. Tayberry jam, Dilly’s spicy pickles, Creminelli, both Rustic Bakery items.
I invited some pals over to join in on the fun (Beehive is best when shared, that’s why our motto is “Making Friends With Cheese”). Unfortunately the only one who could make it was Ben, who luckily is incredibly fond of cheddar. He was in for a treat.
“First we should decide what cheese we’re going to use,” I said when he arrived.
“Is there a cheese we’re not going to use?” Ben asked.
“All cheese gets love in this household, Benjamin.” I took a dramatic pause, feeling courage coursing through me. “For the first board, let’s start with three.”
I followed the Cheese Chicks advice like scripture: I cautiously set my ramekins down first, one on either end so they were diagonal and balanced. One held pear lavender Amour spread, and the other the just-spicy-enough Dilly’s spicy dill pickles. I knew I wanted to start things off with Barely Buzzed because it pairs beautifully with chocolate, which I planned on setting down later so as to stay with the order I was told to do things. The Barely Buzzed was sliced like triangles with some rind on each cut. Now I needed a soft cheese for balance. I chose the creamy Red Hawk, with its pungent beefy aroma. I was so into it. I knew it would taste like perfection spread on the Rustic Bakery artisan crisps. Lastly I grabbed the Challerhocker, slicing it the same way I had the Barely Buzzed so they'd mirror one another. Ben set Creminelli slices down like a “barrier” around the Challerhocker and pickles, and I placed the Artisan Bakery crisps alongside it. As a finishing touch, Ben took one of my tiny ice cream tasting spoons and scooped some of the Red Hawk out onto the Creminelli “barrier” to make the cheese even more inviting.
Board 2: Seahive, Silver Queen. Apple pear, lavender pear spread, crostini, prosciutto, dried blood orange slices.
I wanted something more fruit focused for this go around. “Goat cheese will go with fruit, right?” I said out loud. Maybe to Ben, maybe to Aristaios the god of cheesemaking and honey. I dipped a blackberry into the Silver Queen’s paste. It was strong, but earthy, and went well together. Now we were talking!
I cut a quarter off the Silver Queen, placing the other ¾ on the board opposite a ramekin of lavender pear (it wasn’t so much a ramekin as the lid of the spread-- turns out the ramekins I owned were too tall), and “shooting” from the soft and creamy Silver Queen we had long strips of the sweet and creamy Seahive. On either side of that we set crostinis and apple pear slices.
The board was missing color. I looked over at the dried blood orange slices I had made last second (always be prepared!), and dipped some in the Silver Queen then tried it with the Seahive. Yes, perfection all around! I carefully put a few slices underneath the strips of Seahive. That was the color I wanted. While I had done that, Ben rolled up a “bouquet” of prosciutto that he gently placed into the hole of the goat cheese ¾ wheel. YAAAASSSSSSS! We were so rocking this for first timers.
Board 3: Pour Me A Slice, Silver Queen. Cacao shortbread, salami, creminelli, salami, prosciutto, candied pecans.
What was left, cheese wise, was the semi hard cheddar Pour Me A Slice (it makes a knock out mac-n-cheese) and extra Silver Queen goat cheese. The bourbon spices of Pour Me A Slice mixed beautifully with the earthy Silver Queen. It was on point. I sliced the goat cheese into triangles to contrast the half circles of Pour Me A Slice Ben was creating using my cookie dough scoop as a makeshift cutter.
At the top of the board we set the ramekin (Amour spread lid), spilling over the front with candied nuts (my secret weapon and perfect Pour Me A Slice pairing) leading to the last of the cacao shortbread. On either side of the ramekin (spread lid) we placed the cheeses, and flowing down from them, acting like land that followed the shortbread river, were Creminelli and folded over salami. We were proud of it.
Step 4: Time to eat!
This was the best part, because the point of a charcuterie board is to eat it. Ben said it best with “I like this is a mix of cheddars, this is good scented. You smell it and think ‘this is a good cheddar’.” Couldn’t have agreed more. Ben decided to make a list of his favorite pairings (maybe pictured), most of which I agreed with.
Our boards were solid, and we made a few realizations that night: Charcuterie is basically organizing, and it’s really hard to make a bad one. As long as you’re with friends, your charcuterie board will always taste most excellent.
The Beehive Cheese brand promise is at the core of our everyday whey of life. This promise reflects who we are as a family-run company and our promise to our customers. If you have a problem with your cheese we will make it right. Our promise to you is simply this; Great Cheese, No Excuses.
This cheese is cold-smoked in small batches using local Utah walnut wood and slices of red apple. Apple Walnut Smoked has a subtle sweet and nutty flavor with a hint of smoke.
Apple Walnut Smoked is made from the milk of Jersey cows from Ogden’s Wadeland South Dairy. Wadeland’s Jersey cows enjoy 350 acres near the salty marshes, ponds and mudflats of the mineral-loaded soil of the Great Salt Lake.
Unique espresso and lavender hand-rubbed cheese with subtle notes of butterscotch and caramel. Made from the milk of Jersey cows; this is a full-bodied cheese with a smooth, creamy texture. Barely Buzzed is our most popular cheese and is considered by many to be a great American original.
It’s all about the rub. Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee's produces a Beehive Blend of South American, Central American, and Indonesian beans roasted in different styles exclusively for Barely Buzzed. It turns out the love for food and artisan craftsmanship runs in the family. The owner and roaster of Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee is the brother of cheesemaker Tim Welsh.
Our unique espresso blend is then mixed with French Superior lavender buds and freshly ground onsite. The mixture is diluted with oil to suspend the dry ingredients in the rub. Rubbing the cheese produces notes of butterscotch and caramel near the rind, which find their way to the center of the cheese.
Barely Buzzed is aged in our humidity controlled facility and then moved to two different temperatures during the aging process to develop texture and flavor.
The name "Barely Buzzed" came from Andrea at Deluxe Foods in California. She was the winner of the “Name this Cheese” contest.
This spicy hand-rubbed cheese packs a heated punch as you near the rind. Made from the milk of local Jersey cows in Northern Utah, the combination of sweet creaminess and spice make it a great addition to any cheese plate.
The spice is right! Our Cajun rub was developed by local Ogden, UT chef John Dearmin using only the finest ingredients. Unlike typical Cajun rub, Big John uses cayenne pepper instead of paprika. Sorry, the rest of the recipe is top secret. The spiciness of the rub is a nice compliment to the creamy texture of the cheese. Watch out, this cheese packs a heated punch as you near the rind.
As the patriarch of the Beehive family of cheeses, Promontory is an Irish-style cheese with buttery, full-bodied texture and snappy, citrus-like fruity notes.
Promontory, as well as all Beehive cheeses, is made from the milk of Jersey cows from Ogden’s Wadeland South Dairy. Wadeland’s Jersey cows enjoy 350 acres near the salty marshes, ponds and mudflats of the mineral-loaded soil of the Great Salt Lake. The same nutrient-rich soil that feeds thousands of migrating birds, feeds the lush alfalfa that the cows love to eat.
Jersey cows are the smallest, and arguably the cutest, of dairy cow breeds. Despite their small size, they produce milk with the highest protein and fat content. Higher fat and protein means the milk is creamier. This is why Beehive cheese crafts such beautifully creamy cheese.
Beehive Cheese has a passion—to return to simple, local food. Our company’s efforts to use local ingredients gives our cheese and our company a sense of place. This sense of place holds true for one of our oldest charitable partners, Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah and their mission to connect people with plants and the beauty of living landscapes.
Beginning in 2018, Beehive Cheese Company will donate 3% of the gross sales of Red Butte Hatch Chile cheese to Red Butte Garden to further their efforts to maintain a place where nature and people connect.
It makes sense for us to align with this local partner to create, support and make a difference in our community. Buy some Red Butte Hatch Chile cheese today and help us support the landscape and lifestyle we love.
Loaded with New Mexican Hatch Chiles, Red Butte Hatch Chile is proving to be one of our most popular cheeses among fans. We mix spicy chilies into the cheese which are then pressed into the curd.
Our signature rub contains dried chiles and spices which bring out floral and savory notes in the base cheese.
Hand-rubbed with local honey and Redmond RealSalt®, Seahive is a beautifully balanced treat. Made from the milk of Jersey cows in northern Utah, this is a full-bodied cheese with a smooth, creamy texture. SeaHive is shaping up to be one of our best cheeses. It is a true expression of our local flavors, superior quality and creativity.
From the land of salt and honey. Our Seahive is hand-rubbed with wildflower honey harvested from a local farm and RealSalt® sea salt. RealSalt® is harvested from an ancient sea bed near Redmond, Utah and contains unique flecks of color from more than 50 natural trace minerals.
Leave it to the Beehive family to create another unique, delicious cheese! Teahive is a “feel good” cheese. The soothing qualities of tea and the relaxing properties of bergamot combine to produce a lovely cheese with rich fragrances of orange blossoms in April. The creaminess of this Jersey cow cheese immediately delights the palate and the complexities of the tea-rubbed rind continue through the finish.
Fully Loaded is fortified with rye whiskey. Bold and spicy, with hints of cinnamon, anise, and honey. The rye whiskey imparts a complex kick to Beehive’s creamy, Irish-style cow’s milk cheese