Born in the USA | July 2022 curdbox

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Happy Birthday, America! This month we’re celebrating the birth of our nation with our Born in the USA box, full of delights from coast to coast (and a few in-between). For this box, we have a selection of three kinds of cheese and three unique pairings to accompany them from companies with their own story of heritage, tenacity, and tradition. So keep the celebration-of-our-nation going all month long while you feast from West… to East.

Hoop Cheese from Striplings General Store

This family-owned business began in Georgia in 1964, when farmer James Stripling, who grew up working in his father's grocery store, opened his own butcher shop on the family farm. Business was great, they expanded, and while they continued to keep their sausages and fresh cut meats as the backbone of the operation, they eventually added more specialty products to their lineup, including their Hoop Cheese. Made from cow's milk, hoop cheese is made by draining the whey completely from the curds before placing them in round molds called hoops (hence the name). It is often compared to farmer's cheese but with no salt or cream added. Some consider it to be akin to a mild cheddar that can be served fresh in its semi-soft state or left to mature for a short time, enhancing its stiffness. Hoop cheese used to be a staple in General Stores all across in the US in the late 19th and earliest 20th centuries, but now it's pretty hard to find—so much so that many people cheese-loving folk have never even heard of this American-original. Which is too bad, because it's a delicious, versatile cheese! Luckily, the third generation of Striplings are still in the family business carrying on the American tradition of simple, high-quality hoop cheese.


Hoop Cheese from Striplings General Store and Michigan Blueberry Preserves from Brownwood Farms

San Geronimo by Nicasio Valley Cheese Co.

Nestled in the beautiful Nicasio Valley, one hour north of San Francisco, the Nicasio Valley Cheese Co. is a family-owned company whose mission is to make the best artisanal cheese possible. Operating since the early 1900s, the ranch is still run by a new generation of family members whose commitment to the highest quality cheese starts with the care and attention given to their herd of 100% certified organically raised dairy cows. From there, to make their cheeses they meticulously combine traditional methods, old-world techniques, and a state-of-the-art processing facility. This month's cheese, the award-winning San Geronimo, is a shining example of their craft. It's a washed-rind cheese aged for six weeks, similar to a Fontina and a Raclette, with a thin orange-yellow rind and a mild custardy flavor. Its earthy aroma perfectly matches the hint of salt and tanginess carried throughout its rich interior. You can't go wrong with this one, a perfect mix of quality, tradition, and taste.

San Geronimo by Nicasio Valley Cheese and Everything Goes Nuts from Bobby Sue’s Nuts.

 

Grand Cru Surchoix by Roth Cheese

Named after its founder Oswald Roth, who started the family business in 1863, Wisconsin’s Roth Cheese has been carrying on the tradition of its ancestors for generations, creating specialty and artisan cheeses that originated in their Swiss heritage. And with more than 200 awards under their belt, they are a testament to the craft of cheesemaking. Their signature handmade, alpine-style Grand Cru cheeses are produced in small batches using traditional copper vats. From there, only a select few wheels are carefully chosen for Surchoix. While the original Grand Cru wheels are aged for four months and the Grand Cru Reserve wheels are aged for at least six months, Surchoix wheels are aged for at least nine months on red pine wooden planks, resulting in this luscious, next-level cheese. With a creamy texture and crunchy crystals, its highly complex flavors carry hints of caramel, mushrooms, and buttery undertones. Awarded the Best of Show at the 2016 World Cheese Championship, This extraordinary cheese is a cut above the rest and not one you will easily forget.

Grand Cru Surchoix by Roth Cheese and the Prosciutto Americano from La Querica.

Michigan Blueberry Preserves from Brownwood Farms

Behold, we bring you deliciousness in a jar with the Michigan Blueberry Preserves from Brownwood Farms. Michigan blueberries are known for their deep color and intense flavor, making them the perfect ingredient for a richly sweet preserve. A family recipe made from fresh, plump blueberries from the heart of blueberry country, this will have you dreaming of sunny days, picnics, and summer breezes. Stirred to perfection in a large kettle and made with the simplicity of a farm stand jam, this will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.

Everything Goes Nuts by Bobby Sue’s Nuts

New York’s own BobbySue’s Nuts is a small business with a big heart. Their Everything Goes Nuts! is a guilt-free and all-natural way to get your daily dose of deliciousness. They take the classic taste of an everything bagel and add it to their small batch, hand-roasted almonds, cashews, and pecans, then bake them to the perfectly roasted taste and crunchy texture. Plus, a portion of every dollar they make is donated to help animals in need, so you can have some feel good vibes with your nuts. So eat, enjoy, and repeat. 

Prosciutto Americano from La Quercia

On a small family-run farm in Iowa is where you’ll find La Quercia, a company founded by Herb and Kathy Eckhouse, a husband and wife team with a mission to produce the best quality pork using all-natural ingredients and humane practices. Aged for 10-12 months, their Prosciutto Americano is rich, silky, smoky, and sweet. This antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed pork is humanely raised by family farms in the Midwest and cured using only sun-dried sea salt, echoing the traditional Italian methods of making Prosciutto di Parma. Fantastic on sandwiches, cheeseboards, or by itself as a snack, this prosciutto is a great American take on an old-school Italian tradition.

 

So that's this month's box! Even though the Fourth of July holiday is over, let's keep the celebration-of-our-nation going all month long. Enjoy the sun, rain, and summer days, and treat yourself to some good times and great food.

We'll see you next time!

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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:  @striplingsgeneralstore@rothcheese@nicasiovalleycheese@laquercia@brownwood_farms, and @bobbysuesnutsWe love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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