Wondering what to bring to your best friend’s Pride party? Look no further than our colorful list of cheeseplate-ready pairings featuring queer-made food products we love.
Red: Cowgirl Creamery Devil’s Gulch Cheese
Cowgirl Creamery is a lesbian-owned creamery that originated in Point Reyes Station, California, and now includes multiple shops and cafes featuring their delicious cheeses. It all started when Sue Conley and Peggy Smith took a spontaneous post-grad trip to San Francisco to pursue their culinary passions—the rest is queer history!
Today, the creamery offers plenty of unique fresh and aged cheeses. Devil’s Gulch (pictured), one of their zestier products, is a rich and creamy winter seasonal cheese that’s made with organic Holstein cow’s milk. Its tempting rind is bursting with the sweet and spicy flavors of organic heirloom peppers. Pair this with your favorite cracker, a drizzle of honey, and enjoy the piquant perfection.
Orange: Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce
For when your life needs a little extra spice, Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce has the solution. It’s made from simple, fresh ingredients: fresh chili peppers, onions, juiced ginger, and horseradish root. And coming from Shaquanda, the fabulous alter ego of founder Andre Springer, this sauce promises an astounding performance in the mouths of each lucky customer.
Hot sauce and cheese are a no-brainer. For matchmaking inspiration, check out our article on ways to add some zest to your fromage.
Yellow: Diaspora Co. Turmeric
You might know turmeric as the trendy spice-turned-superfood that continues to gain major popularity for its taste and health benefits. What you probably don’t know is it can be deliciously paired with lots of yummy cheese dishes.
Diaspora Co. Turmeric stands out from other spice companies because they grow their turmeric organically on a family-owned farm in India. Diaspora Co., owned by Sana Javeri Kadri—a queer woman of color—works actively to disrupt major trading corporations and support sustainable farming. It’s a win-win-win: good for your health, the planet, and, perhaps most importantly, your taste buds.
Green: Lick Honest Ice Cream Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey
Lick Honest Ice Cream provides the treats we all crave: the flavors that remind us of our favorite childhood ice cream shops. Co-founders and life partners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier decided to channel their love for ice cream into opening Lick Honest Ice Cream in Texas in 2011. They make each batch using dairy from a local farm, resulting in an irresistibly nostalgic experience. With innovative flavors like “Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint,” “Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey” (pictured), and even artisnal ice cream sandwiches, Lick Honest Ice Cream is the perfect way to beat the heat and support an awesome queer-positive company this month.
Thinking about preparing frozen treats at home to compare? Try culture’s recipe for smoked cheddar ice cream to satisfy your craving.
Blue: Coolhaus Double Chocolate + Cream & Cookies Sammies
Coolhaus is another ice cream company owned by a queer power couple. Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started their business in 2008 after they spent time in the real estate field. They decided to combine their passions and invent architecturally inspired desserts like “Peter Cook-ies,” an homage to 20th century English architect Peter Cook. The company also takes risks in exploring new flavor combinations, like “Milkshake & Fries” and “Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone.” The best part about Coolhaus might be their devotion to quality—hormone-free milk, cage-free eggs, and responsibly sourced ingredients.
Hungry to try? Coolhaus supplies their products in over 6,000 grocery stores across the country, and can be found in food trucks on the streets of Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas.
If you want to impress your guests, consider using one of Coolhaus’ quirky flavors in a sweet-and-savory grilled cheese.
Purple: Zafa Wines
Through her Vermont-based winery, Zafa Wines, Krista Scruggs is disrupting the white-male-dominated industry by winemaking without additives, filtering, pesticides, or patriarchy. Upon realizing the FDA allowed up to 300 additives for an average bottle of wine, Scruggs opened Zafa Wines, a more natural approach to winemaking. Scruggs is so devoted to this natural approach that she even crushes the grapes by foot, making for the most traditional vino experience. Still a relatively small company, the queer-owned winery sells its bottles of wine (and cider!) on Zafa’s website and through certain local distributors. Scruggs encourages customers to visit the Vermont winery itself for the best possible experience.
For more about natural wines—and cheeses—check out Culture’s article exploring the trend.
Brown/Black: Revelator Coffee
Revelator Coffee is a beautifully addictive cafe chain and roastery based in Birmingham, Alabama. Their minimalist aesthetic, devotion to southern hospitality, and, of course, fantastic coffee, have lead to their very sudden and monumental success. Revelator’s growth stems from their bold move to introduce the curated, small business coffee shop trend to an untapped area of the country. They’ve since acquired other coffee companies around the country, like The Wired Puppy in Massachusetts.
Revelator is also committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community through hosting events like the Queer Art Showcase and hiring LGBTQ+ members like Meredith Singer, their new Marketing Director, as they continue to grow.