Goatapalooza | February 2022 curdbox

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Welcome to the hot new goat-cheese-festival-in a box, Goatapalooza! This month we have three totally different cheeses made entirely from goat’s milk, which really shows off the diversity of this milk type. Goat cheeses can vary tremendously, so if you think you don’t like goat’s cheese, then we think you just haven’t had the right one. And if you already love goat cheese, then may just find more to love about. And of course, we have three exquisite pairings that really make those cheeses sing (or rock out?). In any case, let’s get to it!

February's Goatapalooza curdbox

Honey Bee Goat Gouda by Cheeseland

Our Goatapalooza opener is Honey Bee Goat Gouda, which is made in Holland but imported by Cheeseland. Cheeseland should know a thing or two about Dutch cheese: it was founded by real live Dutchie Jan Kos, who learned the trade from his grandfather, who started selling Dutch cheese by bicycle all the way back in the 1920s. In the 1980s, Jan moved to NYC to start importing Dutch cheese to America, and thank goodness he did, because for him we have to thank this spectacular goat gouda that racked up a medal at the World Cheese Champion in 2016. We think Honey Bee is the perfect goat gateway (goatway?) cheese, because it’s so similar to the regular cow’s milk gouda that we all know and love. But, because of the goat’s milk, it’s just got that extra bit of tang, and then that gorgeous honey note to balance it out. We love this one with the zesty lemon rosemary nuts…and the gingersnaps. Also it’s great with the guava jam. Heck, it tastes good with all of it!

Garrotxa by Sant Gil d'Albio

Our next headliner is Garrotxa, coming to us from Catalonia. This cheese actually almost went extinct (yes, cheeses can go extinct and it’s a really terrible thing!) in the late 1970s, but thankfully some younger cheesemakers stepped up and revitalized its production. The maker of this month’s garrotxa is Sant Gil D’Albio, a small family-run operation helmed by Jose Martí in Albió, a tiny hill top town. Garrotxa is made from Murciana goats, a breed that makes particularly rich and aromatic milk. It’s milky, salty, nutty, and tangy like sour cream, but it doesn’t have a pronounced “goatiness”. The rind is technically edible, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Curdbox founder Jenn Mason actually went to the this creamery when she visited Spain, below you can see the video of how Garrotxa looks, covered in fluffy downy mold, before it’s knocked down into the matte grey rind that you see before you.


Purple Haze by Cypress Grove

Finally, our third Goatapalooza headliner is Purple Haze by Cypress Grove in California. This is a fresh French-style chèvre (the kind we can only ship in the winter months!) that’s been mixed in with lavender and fennel pollen. If you are averse to flower-flavored foods (as I am!), don’t worry, this is not like eating perfume. Instead it has just the faintest whiff of lavender, à la Herbes de Provence, while the fennel pollen makes you feel like you’re snacking on this cheese while tromping through an herb garden. The goat cheese itself is tangy, rich, and creamy, no wonder it’s wracked up a whole slew of awards! Cypress Grove was created by one of the original” American Goat Ladies”, Mary Keehn, who helped usher in an American goat cheese revolution in the 1980s. If you were with us in November for Umami Bomb, you’ll also have had the cheese for which they’re most famous: Humboldt Fog. We’re psyched to be able to bring another stellar cheese from Cypress Grove to our beloved cheeseheads.  

Guava Jam by Mrs. Miller's

Here’s an open secret at curdbox: we go nuts for guava on a cheeseboard. In fact we made this quite clear in our Going Nuts box from August, which featured guava paste, and the very next month we had guava crackers in Warner’s Wonders. This month, we have another iteration of guava: Guava Jam from Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Jams. Mrs. Miller’s makes an old-fashioned jam, priding themselves on that “just like grandma used to make” kind of flavor. When we put in our order for this jam, they actually had to make a special batch just for us, so this is some seriously fresh “just jarred” jam! We love that it’s sweet, but not in a cloying candy kind of way, so the delicate, floral flavor of the guava can shine through. It’s also got a gorgeously soft texture that makes it a pleasure to put a dollop on each and every bite.

Lemon or Orange Gingersnaps from Nyåkers

Next up, we have ginger snaps from Nyåkers. You have in your box either orange or lemon—due to the supply chain hiccups that have been causing us many headaches here over at curdbox HQ (plus our recent growth in subscribers), there wasn’t enough stock in either flavor, but together we could make it work! And we really wanted to make it work, because these are the best gingersnaps we’ve ever had and they are killer with goat cheese. They are snappy, spicy, bursting with flavor, and not-too-sweet, ant the citrus notes of the lemon and orange play beautifully with our tangy goat cheeses.

Nyåkers is out of northern Sweden—Umeå to be exact, which is way up there, almost to the arctic circle! It was founded by two brothers who had gone south to be baker’s apprentices, and then came back north and developed their secret recipe. Adhering strictly to the practical “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it” way of of doing things, they still use that same original recipe from 1952, and still mix and punch the cakes by hand—so pretty much as close to a Swedish grandma cookie you can get. Also, we encourage you to check out their website, that has adorable illustrations that’ll make you want to head straight to the nearest winter cabin.

Zesty Lemon Rosemary Nuts by Isadore 

Lastly, we have nuts. But, not just any nuts: these are the Zesty Lemon Rosemary nuts by the Isadore Nut Co. Like so many of the stories of our producers, Isadore Nut Co was created because someone saw a gap in the market. Founder Tasya Helen had trouble finding an organic, gluten-free snack option, so she took it upon herself to make what she wanted to see in the world. The name coming from Tasya’s grandfather, Isadore, who was a believer in organic and healthy foods back in the 50s, when the American food system was starting its decades-long focus on convenient, processed foods. But while we love a good wholesome snack, what we love even more is how delicious these nuts are. We’re not quite sure how they do it, but these nuts are chock full of lemon and herb flavor, that seems to imbue the entire nut, instead of being a scant coating on the outside. And the bright citrus and herbal flavors feel like they were tailor made for this month’s box.

And that's our box! With so many incredible goat cheeses out there, it was tough to choose what to include, but ultimately we hope these choices demonstrate the breadth and depth of what goat cheese can be. Happy noshing!


Did you take some photos for the 'gram while enjoying this box? Please tag us @curdbox, along with our cheese and pairing partners @mrsmillershomemadejams, @isadorenutco, and @cypressgroversWe love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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