Mountain Time | January 2024 curdbox

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Curdbox is our monthly cheese + pairing subscription service. Want to join our merry band of cheese lovers? Head on over to our subscription page to sign up for your monthly box!

For even more information about the contents of this month's box, including the info- card, audio and video podcasts, and Spotify playlist- check out our box-content page HERE.



Join us as we embark on a sensory journey to the breathtaking landscapes of the Alpine regions, where the age-old artistry of cheesemaking unfolds like a story written in curds and whey. In the heart of Europe's majestic mountains, a tale unfolds within the cool embrace of clean air and the lush meadows that cradle centuries-old cheesemaking traditions. This month we explore the artisanal world of those Alpine cheeses, where the landscape itself seems to seep into the very essence of each wheel. These cheeses tell the tales of generations past—of craftsmanship, handed down like a symphony of flavors that echo through the valleys and peaks of European cheesemaking history.

 So, let’s take a look at this month’s box...

French-Emmenthal by Frantal

Nestled near the base of Mont Blanc- Frantal's French Emmental stands as a testament to the artistry of cheesemaking in the heart of the French Alps. Created in the picturesque landscapes near the famous French ski resort of Chamonix, this semi-hard cow's milk cheese, reaps the benefits from the pristine waters flowing through lush valleys that nourish the cows grazing on the rich grass. The intricate cheesemaking process unfolds over two months, resulting in the distinctive holes that characterize the cheese. Each 180-pound wheel, turned weekly in ripening chambers, matures to perfection, revealing a sweet, buttery taste with nuanced hints of fresh nuts. Contrary to the common assumption that only Swiss Emmental bears the true essence of “Swiss” cheese- Frantal's Emmental proves its worthiness, showcasing its mild, nutty sweetness and familiar texture. It is the result of a complex and challenging cheesemaking process while offering a delightful alternative to its Swiss counterpart.

The French-Emmenthal by Frantal and the Cumin & Lime Snack Pickles by Rick's Picks

Comtè (6 Month) by Charles Arnaud

Charles Arnaud's Comté stands as a testament to the rich tradition of artisanal French cheese-making. Handcrafted with devotion and a commitment to time-honored methods, this Comté is a true masterpiece, aged for over a year to perfection. Its firm texture and satiny smooth, ivory-colored body encapsulate a spectrum of flavors- nutty, creamy, fruity, and meaty. Rooted in a recipe with a history spanning over 1000 years, this Gruyère de Comté is a French counterpart to its Swiss cousin, and is one of the most sought-after cheeses in France. Produced in the iconic Fort des Rousses cellar, each wheel of cheese undergoes a meticulous selection process by master cheese makers. Delighting the palate with a nuanced combination of nutty and smoky flavors- this Comté is a true artisan creation, embodying the essence of French mountain cheese craftsmanship and Charles Arnaud's dedication to excellence.


The Comtè (6 Month) by Charles Arnaud with the Black Pepper Crackerthins from Vallery Produce Company


Kaltbach AOP Gruyère by Emmi

Emmi's Kaltbach AOP Gruyère, a culinary marvel aged over 12 months in the natural sandstone caves of Kaltbach, Switzerland, is a cheese-fan's delight. Crafted by master cheesemakers since 1782, this Grand Gruyère Reserve undergoes its transformation in underground sandstone caves near Lucerne. Made from rich Alpine cow's milk, the cheese absorbs the mineral-rich air, creating a perfect environment for the cheese to develop wondrous depths of flavor. With a rustic, oily rind revealing a firm, smooth texture and a slightly aromatic, robust flavor- this cheese is a true Swiss treasure. Protected by Swiss AOP, it embodies the essence of the Gruyère region, produced using milk from cows grazing on only the finest pastures. The 12-month aging process results in a uniquely rich taste with balanced undertones of fruit and nuts, with a delightful crumbly body with occasional crystallization. Under the vigilant eye of Kaltbach cheese masters- the unique environment ensures that this distinctive flavor experience can only be created in the Kaltbach caves.

The Kaltbach AOP Gruyère from Emmi and the Italian Speck IGP by Recla

And here are the pairings that go along with these amazing cheeses…

Black Pepper Crackerthins by Vallery Produce Co.

Christopher Smith, the passionate and renowned Australian chef, established Valley Produce Company with a commitment to creating exceptional gourmet delights. Among the treasures from this prestigious food and wine region of Australia's Yarra Valley- are the Black Pepper Crackerthins- a testament to the brand's dedication to quality. These light, thin, and crispy crackers are made with great-tasting ingredients, ensuring a distinct taste and crunch that elevates any cheese platter or appetizer dish. Crafted with all-natural ingredients without added colors, preservatives, or artificial flavors- they provide the perfect canvas for your most favorite of toppings.

Italian Speck IGP by Recla

Recla's Speck, a Northern Italian delicacy with a heritage spanning almost 400 years, is a dry-cured ham of unparalleled flavor. Infused with juniper, laurel, and rosemary- this artisanal creation undergoes a meticulous maturing process, introducing notes of nuts and porcini mushrooms. Crafted exclusively from the leanest pork legs, Speck follows strict traditions: limited salt, modest smoking, and restricted airflow. Aged for a minimum of 6 months in the mountain air of Alto Adige, Speck delights with its mild smoke, low-salt profile, and versatility in various dishes. A unique blend of Alpine traditions and Italian flavors- Speck embodies dedication and precision, making it a savory, smoky masterpiece. Recla's Speck invites you to savor the essence of Northern Italy's culinary heritage in every bite.

Cumin & Lime Snack Pickles by Rick's Picks

Rick's Picks' Cumin and Lime Snack Pickles are a delightful fusion of tradition and innovation, born from Rick Fields' childhood of making pickles with his family. His commitment to using fresh, local produce from trusted farmers resulted in a national brand celebrated for its savory, hand-packed, all-natural pickles. The Cumin and Lime Snack Pickles showcase Rick's dedication to distinctive flavor profiles and exceptional quality. Each bite is a harmonious marriage of cumin and lime, a symphony of flavors that reflects the heart and soul of Rick's pickle-making legacy.


And with that- we wrap up this month’s box.

So we hope you enjoy these mountain landscapes, where each bite of their cheese tells the secrets of timeless traditions- and of the true artistry behind these exceptional culinary creations. We’ll see you next month.


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: @jureflore@emmicheeseusa@valleyproducecompanyand @rickspicksnyc.
We love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes! 


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