#SandwichGoals | April 2021 curdbox

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It’s National Grilled Cheese month, which felt like a call to action for us here at curdbox—we’re a monthly cheese subscription company, after all! But we felt we needed to bring in some extra firepower to really celebrate this month in style, which is why we called up our friend MacKenzie Smith of @GrilledCheeseSocial. MacKenzie helped us curate this month’s box of three cheeses + three pairings that would not only make a scrumptious cheeseboard, but that would also make three enviable grilled cheese sandwiches (see MacKenzie's grilled cheese recipes here). In short, it’s our #SandwichGoals curdbox. 

April's #SandwichGoals curdbox

Italian Fontal by Mitica

First up we have our smooth & melty fontal. Fontal was the French response to Italian Fontina—it’s got the same lusciously soft texture, but is a little milder and more approachable. Though fontal is originally French, you may notice that this version is Italian, which means that the Italians turned around and reworked the French version of the Italian original, thus encapsulating the gustatory conversation that you see in culinary history across the world.

Fontal is a cow’s milk cheese that's aged two months; it’s buttery and rich, a little sweet, a little nutty—the perfect canvas for all sorts of fixings. Its soft and springy texture transforms into a glorious golden molten puddle of deliciousness when heated—exactly the sort of thing we want in a grilled cheese. Mackenzie has this paired with the Olli's Napoli Salami, whose intensely savory flavor melds beautifully with the mild, easy-going fontal.

Italian fontal with Olli Napoli Salami, recipe and photo by @GrilledCheeseSocial

Roth’s Dill Havarti

Next is a our Dill Havarti from Wisconsin heavy hitter Roth Cheese. Havarti is originally a Danish cheese, but it’s basically one iteration of the same kind of melty, snacky cheese that many countries have developed (e.g. gouda). Fun fact: when immigrants came to the US, they used those same recipes to make Colby and Monterrey Jack, so Havarti is basically like the grandfather to those American originals.

Havarti is a washed curd cheese, which means that before being pressed into molds, the curds are bathed to remove some of the acidity, resulting in a milder, sweeter cheese. This version has dill added, bringing an herby freshness. Because Havarti needs only the slightest encouragement to fully relax into a gorgeous soft and gooey dream, it's sandwich stalwart. MacKenzie has paired this with the Lillie’s Q Hot Pepper Vinegar Chips—the secret to success here is to make the grilled cheese before adding the chips, then once it’s done and the cheese is fully melted, gently pull the sandwich apart and sprinkle in the chips before closing it back up. That way, the cheese is fully melted and the chips maintain their pleasing crunch.

Roth's Dill Havarti and Lillie's Q Hot Pepper Vinegar Chips, recipe and photo by @GrilledCheeseSocial

Taleggio by Arrigoni

Taleggio, oh taleggio, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Taleggio, named for the alpine Taleggio Valley in Bergamo where it was originally made, is one of the world’s most beloved cheeses. Arrigoni makes this version to DOP specifications, meaning it was made using exacting specifications. Curdbox CEO and founder Jenn Mason describes Taleggio as “the steak of cheeses” because it’s as satisfying as a hunk of meat. But even though it’s full of umami, it is still delicate and buttery, making it versatile in the kitchen, and it has just a enough funk on the rind to keep it spunky. If you don’t like the funky stuff, you can cut off the rind, but, we do encourage you to try it, because Taleggio is a gateway funky cheese, and has won over many funk-averse eaters. MacKenzie has paired the Taleggio the Jammy Yummy’s Onion Jam for a decadent pairing.

Arrigoni's Taleggio DOP with Jammy Yummy's Onion Jam, recipe and photo by @GrilledCheeseSocial

Hot Pepper Vinegar Kettle Chips by Lillie’s Q

If you were with us last summer, then you’ve had kettle chips from Lillie’s Q before, and so you know you're in for a treat. Lillie’s Q doesn’t cut corners, instead frying their chips in small batches to ensure maximal browning and crispiness. The Hot Pepper Vinegar flavor is, as they say it, just a “salt + vinegar chip on a tasty trip to the South.” A stroke of genius from MacKenzie, our Grilled Cheese Chef Extraordinaire, is to include potato chips, in all their salt crispiness, inside the grilled cheese—I explained above but it bears repeating: the trick is to sprinkle them in after the cheese is melted through, so they keep their crispy pop.

Onion Jam by Jammy Yummy

Jammy Yummy is a small outfit out of Florida that makes a whole line of fantastic vegetable-based jams. Their superb technique enhances the natural flavor of the vegetables, so they don't have to use extra flavoring or additives. As was noted in our podcast this month, this onion jam is like a concentrated jar of the very best part of a French Onion Soup. Adding a little dab of this onto anything almost feels like cheating it's so delicious, and the perfect addition to a grilled cheese for a complex, allium note.

Napoli Salami by Olli Salumeria

Our final pairing from Olli Salumeria is here to give one final umami oomph to the box. Olli Salumeria is named for Oliviero Colmignoli, a born-and-raised Roman who comes from a long-line of Italian salumi makers. In 2010, he made the leap to the US and opened his own artisanal salami company using his family's recipes (so you know that this is the real deal). All Olli's salami are slow-cured, meaning the sausage is given time to develop complexity and flavor, and the Napoli salami is smoked with applewood, for just a whisper of smoke in the background. MacKenzie calls for dicing the salami before incorporating it into the grilled cheese, so you don’t accidentally snag the salami and pull the sandwich apart in the first bite. It’s these small and thoughtful details like that that are why she is the grilled cheese queen.

So, there’s the box! We hope you are positively salivating at this point. MacKenzie has provided her three recipes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match the cheeses, the pairings, or both—with just these 3 cheeses and 3 pairings, you already have over 60 possible sandwiches you could make. Now that’s a way to #StopEatingBoring.


Did you take some photos for the 'gram while enjoying this box? Please tag us @curdbox, along with our cheese and pairing partners @rothcheese, @jammyyummy, @lilliesq, and @olli_salumeria. We love to see our cheese lovers enjoying their boxes!

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