Red Wine and Blue | July 2021 curdbox

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Welcome to July, the month where we get to bust out our most patriotic colors the box. Due to our preset shipping schedule, we are a little past the official Independence Day holiday, but we didn't want to miss out on all the fun! As incorrigibly punny as we are over at curdbox, we've tweaked our national color scheme just a bit so that we could could celebrate with the Red Wine and Blue box.

July 2021's Red Wine and Blue curdbox

Ewenique by Central Coast Creamery

Our first cheese is Central Coast Creamery's Ewenique, which is, yes you guessed it, a sheep's milk cheese. At four months old, Ewenique is actually a young gouda, and it was even made in Holland (with Central Coast Creamery's recipe) until 2018, when they moved production to California, so now it's 100% American made. Like all goudas, Ewenique has that butterscotchy depth, which balances well with the sheep's milk natural saltiness. The paste is soft and yielding, and the cheese melts in your mouth, like candy! 

Central Coast Creamery's Unique with Almondina's Almond Bites

Ubriaco del Piave by Moro Formaggi

Due to some last minute supply instability, the cheese we had planned to have in the box (Brillo Pecorino Divino by Il Forteto) had to be swapped out for Moro Formaggi's Ubriaco Del Piave, but it was after we had already sent the info card to the printer, and had already taped our podcast and done our box photoshoot—the timing was unfortunate! But, such is life, and shortages are a part of the deal in the cheese world. Luckily, we were able to swap out the original wine-soaked Tuscan pecorino for a wine-soaked Venetian Piave, so the Red Wine part of our theme was still perfectly relevant. In fact, Ubriaco means that it is a drunken cheese.

There are many ways to make a cheese drunk, but the way that Sergio Moro does it with this one is soaking it in a mix of wine and grape must before aging the wheels for at least 6 months. Kind of like young Parmigiano Reggianos from near the Piave region in northern Italy, piave cheeses are nutty and savory. The wine soak adds fruity notes that are more apparent near the rind—not to mention a gorgeous color!

Dried Cranberries and Blueberries from Vincent Family Cranberries, paired with  Brillo Pecorino Divino by Il Forteto (just squint and imagine that it's Moro Formaggi's Ubriaco del Piave) 

Moody Blue by Roth Cheese

Last, we have the blue for people who (think they) don't like blue. We've seen Roth Cheese from Wisconsin in a few previous boxes, and they've never led us astray before. This is another 4-month old cow's milk cheese. It's made like your typical blue, but then undergoes the stroke of genius to gently smoke the wheels with fruitwood. The result is salty, savory, but approachable blue that leaves just a whisper of smoke in its wake—it's truly like the bacon of blue cheese. It'll crumble well straight from the fridge, but as it warms up it becomes charmingly creamy for a blue. We went totally insane for this with the Maple Bacon Onion Spread and mandate that you try the combo yourself.

Maple Bacon Onion Spread by Brownwood Farms

In case we didn't underscore it enough with the previous sentence, you absolutely must try this with the Roth Moody Blue so you, too, can experience bacon-and-blue nirvana. Brownwood Farms basically achieved perfection with this spread that's the perfect balance of salty and umami from the bacon, not-too-sweet from the caramelized onions, and acidic from the addition of balsamic vinegar. We have been pairing it with everything in our fridge, and we hope you do, too, but really—try it with the Moody Blue.

Dried Cranberries and Blueberries from Vincent Family Cranberries

Here we have some red and blue for our box from Oregon's Vincent Family Cranberries. You may think of cranberries as a New England thing (we New Englanders at curdbox certainly did!) but it turns out, Oregon's mild climate and long growing season are perfect for growing lusciously ripe cranberries. They are so ripe and so sweet, in fact, that instead of needing sugar, Vincent does them with just a little bit of apple juice, which also makes them moist and chewy.—a succulent bit of fruit in each bite, and pretty much the closest we could get to shipping fresh fruit!

Ancient Grains, Blueberries, and Almond Bites from Almondina

Almondina's back in the box, this time with their mini almond bites, which are just like their cookies but with the addition of flax, quinoa, and blueberries, and then made bite-size. We are still trying to figure out how they can make something with healthy grains and no added fat and get something that feels as decadent as these almond bites, which we swear taste just like a waffle cone. In addition to being the perfect vehicle for every combo in this box, they add a sweet and nutty crunch. Fun fact: Almondina is the second act of renowned symphony conductor Yuval Zaliouk, who started Almondina after his retirement from conducting.

So there it is! A little red wine, a little blue, and a whole lot of delicious fixings for a cheese plate fit for celebrating.

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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 @rothcheese, @centralcoastcreamery, @brownwood_farms, and @almondina_brand. We love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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