Salted Chocolate | May 2020 curdbox

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Hooooooo boy, is it just us, or has this been the longest month in history? It’s rough out there, but we’re hoping that this month’s curdbox is a welcome reprieve from the day-to-day uncertainty and anxiety that so much of us are experiencing right now. So kick back and relax, and immerse yourself in the Willy Wonka world of this month’s Salted Chocolate box.

The May 2020 Salted Chocolate curdbox

We have three different types of cheeses (bold & blue, friendly & flexible, bright & fresh) from three different kinds of milks (cow, sheep, goat) in this box, which all pair in unique and delightful ways with our chocolate-centric pairings. First up is the Chocolate Capri from award-winning Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, MA. Maybe your first reactions is that chocolate cheese is weird, to which we say: ever heard of chocolate cheesecake? This fresh goat cheese is made by hand before being blended with Venezuelan chocolate is rich and creamy, (and chocolatey, obvi) with a little bit of that goaty tang to brighten it up. One spoonful of this and you’re basically one Mexican Chocolate Cha Cha away from your own personal just-sweet-enough, bite-sized chocolate goat cheesecake.

Chocolate Capri by Westfield Farm paired with Sutter Buttes' Blackberry Raspberry Jam with Cardamom

Our next cheese, Etorki by Fromagerie des Chaumes, is borne of a 4,000-year-old cheesemaking tradition from the Basque region of France. In fact Etorki means “source” or “origin” in the Basque language, referencing the recipe for these cheeses that have been passed down for generations. The ewes are only milked between late December and mid-July, when they graze in the lowlands of the Pyrenees, resulting in milk rich with butterfat that translates to a velvety and supple cheese. Its soft texture, combined with its nutty and caramel notes, means that Etorki plays beautifully with our crunchy chocolate pairings.

Etorki by Fromagerie des Chaumes paired with the Black Fig & Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bar by Jcoco

Our third cheese is the national and international award-winning Buttermilk Blue by Roth cheese in Wisconsin, which is the perfect gateway blue cheese for those that might lean blue-phobic. The milk for this cheese is from locally-farmed Jersey cows, which are the dairy cow breed with the highest butterfat content. So while you still get the boldness of a typical blue, it’s tempered by a creamy taste and a smooth texture. And, if you’ve never paired blue cheese and chocolate, you’re missing out. Buttermilk Blue is salty, tangy, and bursting with umami—pair that with the bitterness and sweetness of chocolate, and you have all five tastes in concert.

Buttermilk Blue by Roth Cheese paired with Mexican Chocolate Cha Chas by Lark Fine Foods

To pair with these cheeses, first up are the Mexican Chocolate Cha Chas. These sophisticated Cookies for Grown-Ups® from Lark Fine Foods have a rich chocolate flavor and a pleasing crunch. Just a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, they work marvelously as this month’s cracker, or on their own.

While the Blackberry Raspberry Jam with Cardamom isn’t strictly a chocolate pairing, it more than pulls its weight in the box. The key to this mouthwatering concoction is that the folks at Sutter Buttes handpick the blackberries and raspberries at the peak of ripeness, capturing depth and nuance and flavor that just can’t be replicated any other way. It’s no secret that fruit and cheese pair well together, nor that fruit and chocolate do too—so why not bring the three together? This sweet but complex jam is more than up to the task.

Finally, there’s no better way to round this all off than just a darn good chocolate bar, and this Black Fig & Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bar from Jcoco is just the ticket. This 72% cacao number is dressed up with crunchy pistachios and jammy figs. Nutty, chewy, and sweet, it’s a blast to see how it pairs differently with each of our cheeses this month. 

As always, we encourage you to play with this box—experiment with combinations and notice the different flavors and textures. Cha Cha-Cheese-Chocolate? Cheese-Jam-Chocolate? Cheese-Cheese-Chocolate-Cha Cha? Use your pure imagination!

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 @rothcheese@seattlechoc, @sutterbuttesoliveoil, and @larkfinefoods. We love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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