Hello, my friends, and Happy Monday! September is one of my favorite months—my birthday and this blog’s birthday happens, and it’s back to school time! I prepared a little bento box lunch box cheese board for you to inspire you on those days where you want a fromage feast at your office or school cafeteria.
I chose all harder cheeses that will last a little longer without refrigeration, with a range of prices and rarity. Generally, you can anticipate from 2-4 ounces per person when serving cheese.
Cabot New York Extra Sharp Cheddar
(US, cow, pasteurized, vegetarian) I’ve been a fan of Cabot’s Clothbound Cheddar for a long time, and I know I’m not alone. I’ve only recently tasted their block cheddars, though, and have been won over. Their New York Extra Sharp Cheddar is definitely on the sharp, almost tart, side, but that’s what kids love, isn’t it? I sprinkled that stuff over everything when I was a kid. Its creamy, only slightly crumbly texture means that you’re not likely to make a crumbly mess as you bite into it.
Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyère
(Switzerland, cow, raw) I keep putting this cheese on the blog because it is truly one of my favorites. Kaltbach offers several different ages of Gruyère. I prefer more aged Gruyère, but the ones you can often find at supermarkets and Costco will do, especially for day-to-day eating! I love the nuttiness, the rich, earthy flavors, and slightly crunchy texture. Nothing whisks me away from the mundane like a taste of Gruyère.
Melkbus 237 Original Gouda
(Netherlands, cow, raw) This may be the hardest cheese to find of the three. I nabbed my wedge from my local cheese shop. Out of the lunchbox cheeses, it was the one that elicited the biggest response from my test audience (i.e., M. Cheesemonger). M. Cheesemonger LOVED its ultra creamy texture and full, toasted Brazil nut flavor. Made by Unikaas in the Netherlands following traditional gouda recipes, this cheese’s name means “milk can.”
To accompany the cheeses, I grabbed a box of cranberry hazelnut Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps. This Canadian company has nailed its crisp flavor combinations—I love the subtle yet complex flavors of their crisps, as well as their sturdy texture!
The crisps were wrapped in a sheet of Abeego beeswax wrap. They sent me a package earlier this year, and I’ve been testing it on cheese, vegetables, and whatever else can fit in those wraps. I must say, they do a great job of allowing food to breathe while preserving it.
You can find the Cabot and Gruyère at most grocery stores. Check your specialty food store for the Melkbus 237 Original Gouda!
Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps can be found at many grocery stores and specialty food stores.
Abeego can be purchased on Amazon [affiliate link].
The gorgeous illustrated book is Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself by Walt Whitman and Allen Crawford [affiliate link].
The Swiss planner was a gift from my friend living in Switzerland. The materials are all repurposed and recycled!
Happy return to school, all you students!
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