Cheese in Paradise | March 2023 curdboxFLEX

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I don’t know about you, but we feel just about ready for a tropical vacation, and so it’s the perfect time to send out our Cheese in Paradise box! We’ve got three fantastic cheeses and three tropical pairings to go with. This is also a box where you can easily use all three pairings in one bite—and we encourage you to try that! Guava cracker + cheese + passionfruit paste + dried fruit—trust us. So with that little teaser, let’s dive into the cerulean waters of Cheese in Paradise.

Wensleydale by Wensleydale Creamery 

First up is Wensleydale, a classic British cheese that George Orwell claimed was only second to Stilton among British cheeses. There are a few creameries that make Wensleydale, but this month’s version is from the eponymous Wensleydale Creamery. The cheese is slightly tangy like yogurt, a bit salty, and, even though it’s got a crumbly texture, is also quite creamy. The acidity, salt, and creaminess all mean that Wensleydale + fruit is a classic combination. Some cheeses, like the aged Gouda in this box, are superstars all on their own. And even though Wensleydale is absolutely a quality cheese that’s worth eating on its own, we think it really shines when it’s paired up, because its mix of creamy, salty, and acidity elevate every bite.

Wensleydale and Craize's Guava Corn Crackers
Wensleydale and Craize's Guava Corn Crackers

One fun fact about Wensleydale is that, unfortunately, like a lot of artisan British cheeses in the 20th century, it was on the decline as industrial cheesemakers ramped up production. But, unlike most cheeses, it got a bump in sales due to an unlikely cast of characters: the beloved British claymation duo Wallace and Gromit. In the 1990s, a few of the episodes had Wallace waxing poetic about his favorite cheese Wensleydale, and it actually gave a much-needed big financial help to the flagging creamery. Today, Wensleydale Creamery is going strong, and they even make a Wallace & Gromit Wensleydale!

36-Month Gouda by Artikaas

Aged Gouda may be the most universally beloved cheese out there, this stuff’s the real deal. It comes to us from Artikaas, who works with small-scale creameries in Holland to export this authentic Dutch gouda all over the world. What you have is the archetype of Aged Gouda that demonstrates exactly why everyone loves this cheese. It’s salty and savory, but with that butterscotch sweetness and crunchy tyrosine crystals that mean this cheese pretty much is the whole package. Its complexity works beautifully with our bright, tropical pairings. 

Artikaas 36-Month Gouda and not the dried fruit from Rind that was actually in the box—see note below

Big John's Cajun by Beehive Cheese

Lastly, we have a cheddar with big flavor in Big John’s Cajun by Beehive Cheese, who named it after a chef they know, whose name is John and is who is very tall. John graciously let them use his cajun mix to rub on the rind. Beehive Cheese has a whole line of cheeses that all use the same base cheese, a delightful cheddar-esque number named Promontory, and then have different rind rubs for each one. We’ve had several of their cheeses in our curdboxes over the years—Barely Buzzed in our Cuppa Joe box, Teahive in our Tea Time box, and Seahive in our Salt and Pepper Here box. We also previously had Big John’s Cajun in our Grate Outdoors box. The rind mix of garlic, celery seed, and cayenne, and it definitely has a kick to it! If you don’t like spicy stuff, just don’t eat the rind on this one—the savory rub still permeates the paste so you’ll still get that cajun flavor.

Big John's Cajun from Beehive Cheese and the Passion Fruit Paste from Maui Fruit Jewels

Guava Toasted Corn Crackers by Craize

We’re back with our absolutely favorite gluten-free cracker out there, the Craize Crackers, in fruity guava flavor. These addictively tasty, impossibly thin and crunchy crackers were meant to approximate the south American arepa, a delicious snack made from maize meal. Craize Founder Leo Cotter is Venezuelan and actually a trained architect, but whose real passion is in the culinary arts. He wanted to make Latin American foods more popular, and so hit on the idea of the ubiquitous arepa, but in cracker form. This guava cracker is such a treat—the sweet and tropical guava flavor takes center stage, while the toasty corn is the chorus. We think these crackers are the perfect accompaniment to this month’s cheeses, adding crunch, sweet tropical notes and toasty depth.

Passion Fruit Paste by Maui Fruit Jewels

Next we have the Passion Fruit Paste from Maui Fruit Jewels. This is made with yellow passion fruit, the variety that’s most common on Hawaii, which is tarter than its purple sister, which means that this fruit paste is positively bursting with bright acidity, while the flecks of black seeds add a pleasing crunch. This makers at Maui Fruit Jewels expertly craft their products by hand in small batches, ensuring that they perfectly capture the taste of Hawaii. The result? This glistening bar of bouillon that is like tropical paradise in a single bite.

Orchard Blend Dried Fruit by Rind

Note: we had originally planned for the Chili Lime Jackfruit Chews by Amäzi for this box, but due to the on-going supply chain headaches that are causing more than a few grey hairs over here at curdbox HQ, they weren’t available at our facility at the time of packing. But at that point, we had already recorded the podcast! At least have the blog to be able to wax on about another superb batch of dried fruit. We do hope to include the jackfruit chews in a future box!

We round out the box with our final fruit-centric pairing. Though not exactly tropical per se (see note above), we’re psyched to have these in the box, because these dried fruit from Rind are bursting with flavor and still create a glorious fruit pairing trifecta for this month. Rind set out to create a fruit snack that was delicious, while also reducing food waste, which is why their dried fruits include the rind of the fruit. According to their website, Rind helped save 120,000+ lbs of food waste in 2020! We can’t remember the last time reducing food waste tasted this good.

That’s our box, we hope it brings a bit of an escape during this transition month from winter to spring. We hope you love it, and see you next month!


Did you take some photos for the 'gram while enjoying this box? Please tag us @curdbox, along with our cheese and pairing partners @gocraize@mauifruitjewels, @rindsnacks@beehivecheese@artikaasgouda, and @wensleydale_creameryWe love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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