Year of the Cheese Plate: Curdbox

Lately, subscription boxes are all the rage. From makeup to dog toys, these boxes come with a range of contents with varying levels of educational details. Some are strictly for fun and some are trying to take your knowledge to the next level.

Recently, I received a box from Curdbox, a cheese subscription box based out of Boston, MA. It’s parent company is the shop Curds & Co, of which I had the pleasure of visiting last year. They are on the verge of going live with a Kickstarter to increase their production levels and go national, so they were generous enough to send me a box to check it out. Since I’ve coined this year “The Year of the Cheese Plate”, it just makes sense to check out cheese plate options from all realms. I’m not always trying to leave my house so having an option at home is a welcome gift.

So let’s talk about it!

My Curdbox arrived in the middle of one of Seattle’s largest snowstorms in years. What’s more perfect to warm you up than a box full of cheese?!

I received the January box that’s theme was “The Hills Are Alive”. The reference comes from the hills of the Alps though there are many cheeses that are considered “Alpine” style cheese. Alpine style cheeses were born from farmers taking their animals to high elevations to graze on the lush mountain meadows above the treeline. These meadows contain a variety of grasses, flowers, and foliage that help impart a delicate but rich flavor profile to the milk. The farmers would then pack the wheels down the hill at the end of summer to sell at markets. While the term references a certain flavor profile, it’s also a reference to the making of the cheese. Usually smaller producers, larger wheels, and grass/pastured animals. Included in the Curdbox were three cheeses and accompaniments that represented what is typically eaten with these styles of cheese, but with a twist! Think dill pickle chips, mustard, and an onion jam.

The cheese!

Rupert:

Rupert from Consider Bardwell Farm

This raw cow’s milk cheese comes from the southwestern part of Vermont. It is aged for 7-9 months and a whale is pressed in to the rind of the cheese because it initially started out as a 45lb wheel, like it’s reference cheese, Gruyere and Comte. Now at 18-20lbs it’s still an impressive size making the whale nomenclature valid. It has notes of brown butter and butterscotch and the color is a rich yellow.

Comté:

A French classic! This raw, cow’s milk cheese is a protected cheese (brainstorming a post about that!) from the Franch-Comté region and one of the most eaten cheeses in France. This one, aged by Rivoire-Jacquemin, is aged for 6 months. It’s sweet and nutty and totally snackable. To be totally honest, My husband and I demolished this chunk of cheese quickly. It was just so satisfying!

Sennerkase:

Another raw cow’s milk cheese but this time coming from Germany. This Bavarian beauty is studded with fenugreek seeds and smells just like maple butter. The sweetness plays well off the richness in the milk making this quite the stunner! I’m a sucker for fenugreek though so maybe my opinion is a bit biased.

Additional Components:

The Route 11 Dill Pickle chips, Blake Hill French Onion and Rosemary Jam, and the Sweet and Tangy Mustard from East Shore Specialty Foods made for a complete cheese plate. I didn’t really go out of my way to make it look pretty because this was just a good snack while my husband worked. Looks aside, its was mighty tasty! Also, you can go on to the Curdbox website to find more information on the boxes including a video explaining the contents of the box, a Spotify playlist to listen to while eating, and a podcast with the creators as they eat and chat their way through the selections.

Final thoughts:

Loved it! This is great for those cheese lovers that maybe don’t have access to a local cheese shop or for those looking to try some new pairing ideas. It is a thoughtful, comprehensive box with tons of unexpected extras. I’m excited to see them grow in to the National realm and if you’d like to be alerted to that, you should definitely head over to their site and sign up for the email list. When their Kickstarter goes live, donate to ensure you can get access to this no matter where you live! Considering the extras included in a regular box, I would imagine there are going to be some GREAT rewards for funding the project.

Are you a fan of subscription boxes? Would a cheese box change your mind? Let me know!

Big thanks to Curdbox for sending this out to me!

A Certified Cheese Professional living the cheesy life.