Beyond the Big Apple | June 2022 curdbox

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This month we’re traveling outside of the busy streets of the city that never sleeps, and we're going Beyond The Big Apple, to take a look at what the outer regions of New York State have to offer. For this box, we have a selection of three cheeses, as well as three special pairings to accompany them, all with their own special take on some classic tastes. There's a whole lot of creaminess, a little bit of heat, popcorn with a twist, and a comforting, familiar treat. Let's take a walk through the box...

June's Beyond the Big Apple curdbox 

St. Stephen by Four Fat Fowl

For Master Cheesemaker Willy Bridgham and sister Josie Madison, Four Fat Fowl was born of dreams shared around the Sunday dinner table that eventually, in 2013, turned into reality. They took their unique name from a colonial rental fee charged by a local landowner, which amounted to a day's labor, ten to twenty bushels of wheat, and four fat fowl. This family-owned and operated artisan creamery's recipes are the results of their more than 30 years of combined experience in the cheese industry and their commitment to making locally-sourced, handcrafted cheeses of the finest quality. Their passion for making the best-tasting cheeses leads them to perfect those recipes by blending traditional methods with cutting-edge science to create some of the most flavorful cheese you've ever tasted! Their flagship award-winning cheese St. Stephen (for Stephentown, NY, where their creamery is) is a triple cream and the perfect combination of Jersey cow's milk and fresh Jersey cream. Handcrafted from all-natural ingredients, its sweet, buttery flavor carries notes of vanilla and wisps of butterscotch in every bite. On the outside, a soft, bloomy rind adds earthy flavor with nutty undertones, while hiding the smooth, rich, and silky interior that is truly second to none. 

 St. Stephen by Four Fat Fowl and Cheesy-Feta Popcorn by Zesty Z

Hudson Valley Camembert by Old Chatham Creamery

Founded by Tom and Nancy Clark in 1993 in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley, Old Chatham Creamery is a well-known name in the world of cheesemaking. Before the creation of their creamery, sheep dairies were exceedingly rare in the United States, and Tom and Nancy decided to pave the way for many other sheep dairies to come. In 2012, Dr. Dave Galton, professor emeritus of Cornell University, began supplying Old Chatham Creamery with sheep milk, and in the Fall of 2014, after expressing immense interest in the artisanal work of the creamery, Dave and his wife Sally acquired the operation and never looked back. Fed with all-natural and non-GMO hay and grains. Both their farm and creamery are family-owned and operated, prioritizing high-quality products, employee health, and customer satisfaction. Old Chatham's flagship, Hudson Valley Camembert, is a unique, soft-ripened cheese made from a blend of sheep milk, cow milk, and cream, with a rich buttery semi-soft texture and mild flavor. A complex and memorable cheese from a trail blazing-maker.

 Hudson Valley Camembert by Old Chatham Creamery and the Apple-Crisp Jam by Pixie's Preserves.  

Finger Lakes Gold by Lively Run Dairy

Beginning production in 1982 in Interlaken, NY. Lively Run Goat Dairy are pioneers of goat cheese in the US and is one of the longest operating commercial goat dairies in the country- producing small-batch, hand-made cheese. The entire team at Lively Run Dairy works to continue the mission of crafting delectable artisan cheese inspired by the historic Finger Lakes food culture in a way that honors the people, animals, and the land. Keeping to their strong sense of community- they welcome visitors to the farm to see their production process and visit their animals- including taking a goat yoga class and buying locally produced goods from their farm store. Their entire team constantly aims to empower their employees, customers, partners, and the community to live healthier, happier lives. Their Finger Lakes Gold is a sweet, goat’s milk Gouda with a beautiful, natural rind. It is mellow and nutty in flavor, firm in texture, yet packs a unique and distinctive punch.

Finger Lakes Gold by Lively Run Dairy with the Sweet-Chili Butternut Pepitas by Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods

Cheesy-Feta Popcorn by Zesty Z 

Inspired by the Mediterranean but born in Brooklyn, Zesty Z is a health-conscious and flavor-forward brand. Their innovative products are made for snack lovers, foodies, and everyone in between. Highlighting the flavors and cultures of the Mediterranean in adventurous yet approachable ways for those with maybe not-so-adventurous palates. Launched in 2017 by mother-son duo Lorraine and Alexander Harik, Zesty Z embodies the practice of of food is love and draws on inspiration directly from Lebanese culture, best demonstrated by its love of food and the hospitality of its people. A bag of their cheesy feta popcorn is low-calorie, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher, it is spicy and savory, with the tanginess of real feta cheese and the heat of the spicy Za'atar. Za'atar, often referred to as the "King of Herbs," is a popular all-purpose seasoning from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, traditionally made of thyme, sumac, chili flakes, oregano, and more. Air-popped instead of cooked in oil, this popcorn is a healthier familiar snack with a unique Mediterranean twist!

Sweet Chili Butternut Pepitas by Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods

Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods, well-known for their delicious seed products, had originally had planned to make cookies. They even relocated to Geneva, NY, to be closer to the agricultural sources of the high-quality ingredients that were central to their cookie production. But, they had a change of plans when they started pressing local squash seeds that would otherwise go to waste, trying to create a Finger Lakes version of cooking oil. Stony Brook is still the only company in the U.S. producing culinary oil from vegetable seed waste and one of the only regional producers of culinary oils using 100% USA-grown seeds. Stony Brook's Sweet Chili Butternut Pepitas are made with roasted butternut squash seeds and are a savory-but-sweet snack you can eat straight from the bag or sprinkled over salads or overnight oats. The seeds are seasoned with chili, lime, garlic, a drizzle of maple syrup, and spices. Their hulls have been softened by brining and roasting and do not need to be removed before eating, and should be eaten whole. These are the seeds for your snacking needs!

Apple-Crisp Jam by Pixie's Preserves

The story of Pixie’s Preserves begins in Waterford, NY, when a young Michelle Petuske would help her mother make sweet elderberry jelly, filling their home with the comforting aroma of homemade goodness. Eventually, Michelle turned that childhood pastime into a career, launching Pixie’s Preserves, which started small but has grown into a popular product in retail outlets throughout New York State and beyond. Yet despite all the growth, Michelle still makes all her products the same way she always has, in a simple eight-quart pot on her stove, one batch at a time. Always without preservatives, GMOs, additives, or anything artificial, Michelle uses only the finest, freshest ingredients and hand-selects every fruit and vegetable that goes into her products. And she manages to make more than 100 jars of preserves a day, by hand, herself. Her Apple-Crisp Jam contains rolled oats, brown sugar, apples, and more, giving it that familiar taste that brings back so many special memories. Add it to your favorite snacks, desserts, English muffins, or cheeses, this comfort-in-a-jar is the ultimate anytime treat.

That's our NY box, we hope you love it!

Did you take some photos while enjoying this box that you were thinking of adding to Instagram? Please tag us @curdbox along with our cheese and pairing partners @fourfatfowls, @old.chatham.creamery, @livelyrundairy, @zestyz, @stonybrookoils, and We love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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