There are subscription boxes for everything from healthy meals to athleisure, but none of them are truly decadent. Well, there are some raunchy boxes out there, but we won’t get into that. If you want to give the gift of subscription that has nothing to do with kale, because you’re a good friend, consider a Cheesemonger Box. The service carefully curates small batch, artisan and traditional cheeses, which all sounds very Brooklyn, even though the operation is actually based in Connecticut.
The box was started by Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, the founding duo behind the Fairfield Cheese Company and the Greenwich Cheese Company, both of which are included in the Oxford Companion to Cheese. They work with farmers, creameries and cheesemakers across the country to import specialty cheeses and package them for delivery.
Each box is stuffed with vital information on the cheeses included, as well as accompaniments like crackers and jam. It’s all to give people the feeling of being in a little cheese shop in Connecticut, only without the pressure of having to order without already knowing what you like. “At our shops in Connecticut, we’re frequently asked about what goes well with specific cheeses. A good pairing, be it with a beverage or an accompaniment, really elevates the experience,” Palumbo told the Observer.
And, if you feel inspired by your newfound love of cheese, you can start working on becoming a cheesemonger. “The more you taste and try, the more expanded your palate becomes,” Downey advised. She suggested visiting cheese shops and taking wine and cheese pairing classes, along with reading Mastering Cheese if you’re truly dedicated.
While you can’t customize the boxes, each one has been expertly pieced together. “We have years of experience sourcing great cheese and the three cheeses are chosen to work together on a platter. The styles, textures and milk types should vary to make a great cheese platter,” Palumbo explained.
“Buying cheese in an independent cheese shop is a very different experience than [in] a supermarket or a big box store,” Downey said. “We’re focusing on small producers and handmade cheeses. We have personal relationships with them.” Even if you can’t venture to Connecticut, you can become a true cheese expert.