'Tis the season for holiday parties and, therefore, cheese boards.
For advice on creating an all-Ohio assortment, we turned to Michelle Vieira, a cheesemonger at Whole Foods in Upper Arlington, who loves to discover small, artisan creameries. Earlier this year, Vieira became an accredited expert by passing the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional Exam. Here, she recommends a variety of cheeses and products for a state-centric board and offers some tips. You can find Vieira on Instagram @ColumbusCurdNerd.
Cloverton from Laurel Valley Creamery (1) is a fresh, whippy cheese (similar to mascarpone) that pairs nicely with Honeyrun Farm’s raw honeycomb (2). The duo also offers a nice textural contrast—the chewy wax of the honeycomb is edible.
The award-winning Charloe from Canal Junction Farm in Defiance (3) is a meaty yet creamy, washed-rind cheese that works wonders with Original IPA Mustard from Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. out of Cleveland (4).
Street Ched from Cincinnati’s Urban Stead (5) is a robust, clothbound cheddar that goes nicely with Lupo Salami from Columbus’ North Country Charcuterie (6), a flavor-packed cured meat made with Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s Dire Wolf Russian imperial stout and mole spices. The boozy sweetness of the Whiskey-Glazed Pecans from American Nut Co. in the North Market (7) also stands up well to the bold character of the Street Ched.
Finally, the raclette from locally owned Black Radish Creamery (8) is a smooth, melty cheese. (Leftovers make for a great grilled cheese, Vieira says.) Pair it with Original Garlic Dill Pickles from Cleveland Pickle (9). Their briny, garlicky flavor cuts through the slightly funky flavor of the raclette.