By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™
** November 2014: Update on Beehive Cheeses; Barely Buzzed, Promontory and the Apple Walnut Smoked Promontory won Bronze Medals in their classes at the 2014 World Cheese Awards held in London earlier this month.
I have had the pleasure of being asked to “make” (think: allowed to do things that won’t mess up the cheese) cheese on a few occasions; so when I learn that a cheesemaker left “the fast lane” to make cheese, I smile. From where I sit, while immensely rewarding, cheesemaking is anything but a leisurely pursuit; it’s hard work with more than a few moments of intense attention to detail for the make to be successful. And, it’s also an art to know how to deal with those intense moments.
Tim Walsh and Pat Ford, brothers-in-law and owners of Beehive Cheese, are two of our Artisan Cheesemakers who left that fast lane in 2005 seeking a “simple way of life” making cheese. In those nine few years, they have racked up a wall of awards making cheese in the Beehive State of Utah.
A couple of years ago, I picked up a wedge of their Barely Buzzed and fell in love with the creaminess of this cheese with its rind rub of coffee and lavender. You can read my profile of Barely Buzzed here.
Since then, my travels have allowed me to snag wedges of four of their other cheeses:
Promontory: my most recent Beehive find while in Colorado last week. This Irish-style cheese is made with Jersey Cow Milk making it creamy like all of the Beehive cheeses. In addition to the creaminess, you can taste citrus notes as this cheese melts on your palate. My husband and I got a double dose of Promontory this past weekend, enjoying it alone with crackers and also incorporated into a creamy, gooey mac n cheese I made.
Seahive and Apple Walnut Smoked Promontory: These two cheeses I found at Haggen’s Bellingham, Washington which became a cheese plate with 34° Natural Crispbread. Seahive is rubbed with honey and sea salt, adding a subtle finish to the sweet, milky notes of the cheese. This version of Promontory is cold-smoked with local walnuts and slices of apples. The hint of smoke adds a flavorful finish of walnut and apple near the rind. This nutty cheese immediately became my husband’s favorite. You’ll love it too.
Big John’s Cajun: This cheese I found at the Newport Market in Bend, Oregon last summer. Enjoying the spice, this cheese instantly became a favorite of mine. Again, made with Jersey Cow Milk, this cheese and its perfect punch of heat works both on a cheese plate and tucked into a quesadilla.
The Jersey fat content contributes to the “meltability” of all of these cheeses making them perfect for cooking. But don’t forget to add them to your next cheese plate; your friends and family will be impressed…
Please visit my website for hundreds of other cheese profiles and more than one hundred recipes that incorporate cheese as an ingredient.
Posted November 21, 2014