Welcome to the first of hopefully many curdboxes showcasing “alpine” cheese (smooth & melty)—a cheese-lover favorite! Alpine Cheeses are traditionally known as the cheese whose origin story starts in the valleys of the Alps. Our box celebrates the varieties of the style in flavor, locale, and age.
Let’s start with the most classic Alpine style in the box, the young 6 month Comté. This legendary French melter has a protected method of production so the integrity of the cheese is maintained over time and across producers throughout the region…..it’s that important. The cow’s have plenty of room to graze on fresh natural grass and no more than 1.3 cows is allowed per 2.5 acres! Comté must be at least 4 months so this particular one is definitely young, which evokes fruity and sweet notes. Comté has a distinctly sweeter and more mellow paste than some other alpine styles because another one of its regulations is that salt can only be applied directly to the surface of the cheese, not the curds.
We are so lucky here in the US to have wonderful creameries making their own versions of European classics. Rupert, from Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont is one of the original “Alpine” styles made here in the states. Beloved for its Vermont raw milk and golden colored paste, the cheese is aged for 7-9 months and tastes like butterscotch.
One of the most unique cheeses we have gotten to try in this category is definitely the Sennerkäse from Germany. It is another fairly young and raw milk Alpine, but this cheese is studded with golden fenugreek throughout the paste. Not only is it stunning, but the cheese tastes like butter, caramel and MAPLE.
To keep things legit, we’ve paired these cheeses with the flavors of the valleys (think French onion soup, pickles and mustard), but with a twist. One of the classic pairings with this style of cheese is pickled items or cornichons, so we took our fun spin on it and included Dill Pickle potato chips from RT 11 chips in Virginia. They were the first company in the US to make a “dill pickle” flavor potato chip, and they are killer. They are coated in tangy dill pickle seasoning and are super crunchy and make for an excellent cheese base/vehicle to get into your mouth faster. The jam in this box couldn’t have a more perfect name, French Onion with Rosemary Jam. As you may know, Gruyère is typically that amazingly delicious melty cheese that is bubbling on top of your french onion soup when you order it at a restaurant. Gruyère is one of the most well known alpine style cheeses out there, so we wanted to bring the “french onion soup” flavors back where they belong with these cheeses. The sweet and tangy East Shore mustard is the third and perfect finish to our pairings, getting along with all of the cheeses equally and the perfect little size to dunk not only the chunks of cheese, but also the chips right into. (We also suggest double dipping the jam into the mustard and vise versa). These are a few of our favorite things..... 🎵 🎵 🎵