Moo Bah Mah | February 2022 curdboxFLEX

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February flex is here, and it's a rallying cry from the artisanal cheese world: Moo Bah Mah! That stands for cow-sheep-goat, so that means for our three cheeses this month are from these three milk types. They're all very different—a sheepy gouda-style cheese, a young smoked goat cheese, and a creamy cow's cheddar, but it's a great way to see if you can pick out the flavor differences among the milks. And of course, we have three vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free pairings that play off these cheeses and capture a large range of tastes and textures. So let's cry it out and then dig in—Moo Bah Mah! 

 Moo Bah Mah flexbox

The Moo Bah Mah February 2022 curdboxFLEX

Ewephoria by Cheeseland

Our first cheese is a gouda-style cheese from Holland’s Cheeseland, the cleverly named Ewephoria. If you think you don’t like sheep’s cheese, then it’s even more important that you try this one—Cheeseland developed this cheese specifically for American tastes. They partnered with a family farm in the Friesland part of Holland, where the sheep graze on lush pasture (the owners joke that the sheep eat better than their children do), and follow a gouda-like process, though using different cultures. The result is not just a cheese that isn’t very “sheepy”, but a cheese that has been called “cheese candy”. It’s sweet and nutty, with butterscotch notes, along with those delightfully crunchy crystals.

The Smokin' Goat by Mitica

We're super stoked to have Mitica's Smokin' Goat this month. This one hails from the Canary Islands (the island of Fuerteventura, to be exact), so if you have been wanting to have a cheese from that island paradise, you can cross it off your list. It's made by a family-run dairy that carries on the local cheesemaking tradition on this island, working with Majorero goats, which are native to Fuerteventura. The milk from these goats is naturally high in fat and protein, so the cheese is creamy, with an almost elastic texture. It's aged only 15 days, and also smoked for a week of beech wood, which imbues it with a gentle smoked flavor to meld with the milkiness. 

Tintern by Somerdale

Our final cheese you'll be able to pick out immediately from its green wax rind and green flecks inside. Tintern is a Welsh-style cheddar from Somerdale, which is salty and full-flavored. With chives and shallots mixed right in, it's cheddar and onions already. Again, like all cheeses, this one should be brought to room temperature in order to reach its full expression. It will also soften up much more than a standard cheddar—to the point where it could be pressed with a knife and spread across bread like a, uh, spread. Whatever you choose to do, you can't go wrong—a bite of this is basically a complete and self-contained comfort food.

6-Seed Cracker by Top Seedz

Finally, we have found the one (gluten-free) cracker to rule them all: the 6-Seed Cracker from Top Seedz. That's sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, all bound together in a light and lacy cracker that's both hearty and delicate. Upstate New York resident and Kiwi ex-pat Rebecca Brady, the founder and Top Seed at Top Seedz, had taken a break from the corporate world to have kids. When she got back into the work force, she pivoted to making her signature gluten-free crackers. We love that they add a robust "nutty" taste to the flex box—without having nuts, of course!

Quicos by Mitica

Imported by Mitica, these are popular snack in Spain that we also think are killer on a cheese board. These corn kernels have been soaked in water before being fried until they really are the “King of Crunch”, as the container states. The soaking step is important, because the water puffs the kernels up. When the frying evaporates the water, it means the kernel is light and crisp, so you can bite into them without breaking your teeth. These are salted on the heavier side, but it’s just the right amount to bring out the deep corn flavor. The beautifully bronzed exterior add another layer of flavor and texture to this month’s box.

Sweet Red Pepper Relish by Fourth Creek

Finally, we're rounding it off with this supreme sweet red pepper from Fourth Creek. It's sweet, sour, and salty all at once, bringing a mega flavor hit to already flavor-packed board. This recipe is from Fourth Creek Founder Andy Schiavetti's mom, who would always make it when friends came over for dinner. Pretty soon, it got a cult following in their circle of friends, and they decided to make it into a business! Word got around so that it was even featured at the famous Martha Burger at Freds Restaurant in Barney's in NYC, and Martha herself endorsed the relish. So make like Martha and use this on your cheeseboard, on your veggie burgers, and beyond!

That's our box this month, we think it's a perfect example of how you can have a super flavorful board full of varying textures and aromas, all while being vegetarian, gluten-free and nut-free. Let us know what you think!

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

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