Let’s Share!… cheese!!!

The hashtag #bossbabe has been thrown around the social media world for a few years now. Describing strong, capable and passionate women that have conquered the world of business, in whatever industry it may be some, even despite adversity. These women, inspire us in every way.

On the spotlight, we would like to introduce you to the epitome of #bossbabe, Emily Frank, owner of Share: Cheesebar in Pleasant Ridge, OH.

Emily who once thrived in “Corporate America” on the East Coast and Mid-West, decided to come back to her Cincinnati roots, certainly is no stranger to the food business as she was the owner of the now decommissioned C’est Cheese Food Trucknostalgically all-american, which fueled Cincinnati’s grilled cheese addiction. And in typical boss babe fashion, she went and started the Cincinnati Foodtruck Association, connecting all the food truckers in the area and creating a community. While the food truck business was engraved in her heart, Emily felt that she wanted to establish “roots” after a few years of being on the move.

Share: Cheesebar in Pleasant Ridge, OH.

Emily, wanting to create a place that was quintessential to her and one that she could SHARE with people that mattered, {naturally}, went on to create a cheese bar, called Share: Cheesebar, channeling her love of cheese and the relationship building of a shared meal.

Cheese like wine can be quite intimidating and seem snooty for the average consumer. With a multitude of differences in texture, region, milk sources, flavor profile, aroma, there is a lot to consider…check out the American Cheese Society if you would like an in depth dive into the cheese world.

Share: Cheesebar wants you to know that cheese is not as intimidating as you think. Emily’s goal is for people, regardless of their level of cheese and wine experience, to walk in and feel like they belong …and truly enjoy themselves.

You will find that cheese while complex is fun at the same time. The best part is people usually have a good time whenever surrounded by it, especially when it is paired with wine ( the shop has 12 varieties!) and dried meats from all over the world. Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board?

Let’s go on a cheese journey, shall we….

First you need to know that at any given time there are 30-40 cheeses. So chances are, you WILL find something that you like. There are cheeses made from cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat milk and even buffalo. This place is perfect combination of part retail shop and part restaurant.

Share: Cheese Charcuterie Board 1

Praire Breese (Milton Creamery, Iowa)- Mild aroma with a creamy, yet crumbly texture, the aging of this cheese make the taste bit sharp and allows you to eat the tiny salt crystals. There is an ever so slight bitterness that ends with a sweet fruity note inherently distinct to Cheddars.

Petite Basque (France)- This cheese is made from pasteurized sheep’s milk. A semi-hard cheese has a smooth texture and slightly bitter and barnyard notes.

Cana de Cobra (Spain) -This cheese is made from pasteurized goat’s milk. It has a soft texture with rich creamy notes ( think of the feeling you get when you have heavy whipping cream). Apart from the creaminess there are some nice complimentary green/herbal notes.

D’Affinois with Truffles ( France)- This double cream cheese infused with truffles is so good that it makes you think you are eating luxury. Imagine the rich, earthy taste coupled with the creamy almost buttery notes from the cheese. One can’t eat this without using the famous French expression of oh la là!

Pimento Cheese Dip (Frank’s Family Secret!)- The smooth transition from creaminess of the cheddar cheese to the heat supplied from the secret ingredients is one to be desired. This is not your average cheese dip. Emily has very well informed us that most families in KY has their own version of Pimento Cheese AND she was kind enough to let us in on hers … obviously it’s a secret and obvioulsy we can’t tell you….coz where’s the fun in that! You would just have to go and taste it for yourself. This dip is best when eaten with Tuba baking company’s Swabian Style soft pretzels….say that 7 times!

Not that we talked about the cheese let move onto the dried meat

Share: Cheese Charcuterie Board 2

Speck-This thinly sliced meat is smoky and fatty and practically dissolves in your mouth as you eat. There is a nice meaty taste that lingers.

Milano-As you bring this meat to your mouth, you can smell the black pepper and as you eat you get a symphony of saltiness, heat from the chili and smokiness from the paprika.

Calabrese Salami– With an salt impact that grows as you eat , this spicy dried sausage has the right amount of heat to make you start dancing in your seat.

Coppa ( La Quercia, Iowa)- This pork is cut from the shoulder. It is salty, lean and is slightly oily with distinctive specks of cloves. This meat is slightly animalic and is spicy but without the heat factor.

On to the beautiful condiments:

While some may be self explanatory, others were a very fun and new experience for us.

Castelvetrano Olives with Pit -These olives have a mild flavor with a meaty, buttery flesh that is perfect compliment to its fatty and creamy charcuterie board companions

Sweety Drop Peppers – These fun bright red, tear-drop shaped peppers have
sugar-like sweetness with a sour taste at the same time. Heat levels may vary for these little babies, but these particular ones were only mildly spicy. These were sooo fun to pop in your mouth!!! The kids eat these by the handful!

Grainy mustard – This mustard has a grainy texture with more of an impact than yellow mustard but with the vinegar notes less pronounced.

Cornichon pickles – Typical pickle profile, tangy, acidic with some sweetness and sourness …the only difference is…this one is MINI… kinda odd.. a little freaky LOL. By the way, Luan loves minis, so she thought these were cute!

Fig Spread – This dense, honey-like, fairly sweet spread is a perfect compliment to cheese …Ann’s favorite… 🙂

Parm to table, BobbySue’s Nuts – As the name implies, has Parmesan cheese on it.

These condiments were not only beautiful to look at on the board but also a great contrast or compliment to the fat and creaminess of the cheese and meats. It is important to get a good balance to avoid saturation for a better tasting experience.

One thing, that really resonated with us during our conversation was the fact that Emily has developed such good relationships with not only fellow men and women in the food scene in Cincinnati but also is an avid supporter of their business. It’s a strong woman supporting others to build a community.

An example would be these beautiful Sourdough Laugenbrotchen Pretzels which are a perfect match with the Pimiento Cheese from coming from Tuba Baking Company, a family owned business out of Kentucky as well as the baguette from a Cincinnati wholesale bakery called Sixteen Bricks.

Share: Cheesebar is truly a unique experience in Cincinnati. It is a testament to Emily’s amazing personality, creativity and work ethic as well as how far Cincinnati has come with introducing new things and attracting new entrepreneurs.

You will be glad to find that you will be welcomed with open arms regardless of your cheese and wine knowledge, while they allow you to organically get to know their offerings and provide you with information if you are so inclined to ask.

It is truly a wonderful place to visit and enjoy when you want a non-traditional meal, whether its for date night, family time, or just to hang out with friends. It is Bite Sized Duo stamped and approved!!!


Ann & Lu

Photo credit: The Cincinnatist

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