Susan’s Cheesebox! Featuring Casa Lusa Membrillo Quince Paste

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By Susan Gaulke, Cheese Monger

Membrillo (Marmelada) Quince Paste from Spain & Portugal Quince is a fruit which hails from the same family as the apple and the pear. It is a bumpy, yellow, pear-like fruit with a heady aroma. When ripe, although extremely perfumed and fragrant, it is nonetheless dry, hard, astringent, and acidic. Once cooked, pureed, sweetened, and cooked some more, the quince transforms from a pale butternut squash color into a deep, rich amber color. Quince has been prepared as a jelly and a paste (aka “quince cheese”) on the Iberian Peninsula for well over one-hundred years. In Spain, it is known as “dulce de membrillo;” in Portugal, the name for quince is “marmelo,” and the paste is “marmelada.” Our quince paste is Portuguese and is made by the nuns at Odivelas Monastery near Lisbon with a recipe used since the 1800s. Membrillo is most classically paired with Manchego, which provides a contrasting savory, milky, tangy flavor with the ethereal, fragrant, honey-sweet quince paste. We now offer our membrillo on our choice boards as an accoutrement. Come taste it at the Cheese Box and we will help you pair it with some of your favorite cheeses!

Bonnie’s Jams

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Making jam has always been an important pastime in Bonnie’s life, but it became her artisan commercial business about 16 years ago in Cambridge, MA where she still makes her jams on Sundays at Formaggio Kitchen, a shop which was also her first retailer.

She uses seasonal, and when possible, local fruit to make her jams. To bring the full flavor and integrity of the fruit into the jar, Bonnie chooses to limit her use of sugar and not to add extra pectin, relying solely on the natural pectin present within the fruit. This is a tricky thing to do in making preserves on a commercial level; Bonnie has surely had to learn over the years how to best combine fruits with low and high pectin levels, as well as use the correct minimum sugar and lemon juice quantities in order to get the right set on the finished jam.

The looser texture and pure fruit flavors of her jams make them great candidates for use in many food preparations (glazes, dressings, pastry fillings) as well as ingredients for bar mixologists’ creations.


Bonnie makes 10 different jam varieties, and we consistently carry two of those:

Black & Blue – Made from 1/2 pound blackberries and blueberries per jar, this deep, dark loveliness craves to be near the snow white Leonora, a favorite rich, tangy Spanish goat cheese providing a beautiful milky contrast.

Peach Ginger – It’s no wonder this has been a fave of Oprah…Sweet ripe peaches are a natural match with the flavor and light spiciness of ginger. Bonnie combines this with olive oil, balsamic and port to make a glaze for duck. I am inclined to pair this with a firm sheep’s milk cheese like Ossau Iraty from the Basque…just makes sense.


By Susan Gaulke, Wally’s Cheesemonger

National Grilled Cheese Month Continues!

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National Grilled Cheese Month Continues! We’re halfway through National Grilled Cheese Month and things are really heating up at Wally’s Cheese Box! For week 3 we are offering a sandwich designed by cheesemonger Simone titled, “Alpine Heat”. This grilled cheese features Kohlschlag (a Swiss high alpine cheese), Harold’s Savory Unyins (Onions), Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar on sliced Brioche.

4 14 Simone SandwichSimone’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich “Alpine Heat” – $8.99 – Order Here

If you’re craving a creamy grilled cheese with a kick, Alpine Heat is sure to deliver! Here is what Simone has to say about her creation: “Spicy onions complement this bolder Swiss cheese… c’mon y’all, you have to try this. BOOM!”



4 14 Harold'sHarold’s Savory Texicun Gormay Unyins – Sale Price $6.79 – Buy Here

Great on top of hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches, these onions have a nice vinegar flavor and a not-so-subtle habanero heat. Use as a spicy kick in home-made relish, put them in deviled eggs, omelets or just eat them all alone!

4 14 winegut2012 Weingut Niklas Kerner Alto Adige – $21.99 – Buy Here

This wine comes from the Alto Adige, in the far north of Italy. The grapes are grown at high elevation on the granite hillsides of the Dolomite Mountains. Importer’s Notes: “Dieter Sölva is a young winemaker from the tiny village of St. Nikolaus, high up on the west side of a majestic valley that leads north through the Dolomites. The altitude of these vineyards gives the wines an excellent backbone of acidity. His Kerner is vinified in stainless-steel with no malolactic fermentation and no oak, allowing the wine to show the true flavors of the earth.


Did Someone Say Chocolate Sale?

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4 9 dick taylorChocolate Sale at Wally’s!

Dick Taylor Belize, Toledo Craft Chocolate Bar – Earthy undertones highlighted with notes of Jasmine and Hibiscus on top of a dried fruit flavor profile.  This bar won their first Good Food Award! The 72% Belize, Toledo took home an award in the chocolate category of the GFA in San Francisco. It stems from the great beans and hard work from the farmers and employees of Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize.  We are so happy to carry this bar!
Regular Price: $8.49 each Sale: $6.99 each – Buy Here



4 9 fresco 212Fresco Chocolate 212 Dominican Republic Light Roast, Subtle Conche 72% Bar – A delicate cocoa with natural fruitiness reminiscent of raisin or dried plum. The light roast brings out slightly sour or tangy flavor notes. An International Chocolate Award silver winner!          Regular Price: $7.99 each Sale: $6.50 each – Buy Here

4 9 fresco 223Fresco Chocolate 223 Dominican Republic Medium Roast, Subtle Conch 72% Bar – The medium roast reveals subtle notes of blackcurrant, caramel and vanilla.  Hours of stone grinding achieve the ideal texture.  Then, a subtle conching step develops and mellows the final chocolate flavor through heat, aeration and time.  Added cocoa butter gives the chocolate a silky texture as it melts in your mouth.
Regular Price: $7.99 each Sale: $6.50 each – Buy Here


4 9 ritualRitual Chocolate Bar Madagascar 75% – Made with organic cacao from the well-known Somia Plantation in the lower Sambirano Valley of Northern Madagascar. This farm is known for producing cacao rich with notes of citrus and nuts as a result of the unique growing conditions and post-harvest practices. True to its reputation, our creation exemplifies the curious character of Madagascar cacao.
Regular Price: $7.99 each Sale: $6.50 each – Buy Here

As a pairing complement, why not try:



4 9 glenmorangieGlenmorangie Taste Set of 4 (Contains four 100ml bottles of each) – Aged in ex-bourbon casks, this is the celebrated signature 10 year. Lasanta – The original spirit finished for an additional 2 years in Oloroso Sherry casks. Quinta Ruba – The original spirit finished for an additional 2 years in Port casks. Nectar D’Or – The original spirit finished for an additional 2 years in Sauternes barriques.
$39.99 for the whole set – Buy Here

Grilled Cheese Month Continues With Bradley’s “The Jam”

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The grilled cheese mania continues! For the second week of National Grilled Cheese Month we will be making a Fiore Sardo Pecorino, Pastures Cheddar and guava jam grilled cheese on Brioche. If you love grilled cheese, come on in and just ask for the ‘The Jam’!

4 07 sandwich the jamBradley’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich “The Jam” $8.99 – Order Here

We asked Bradley to describe his sandwich: “Often when I pair cheese with accoutrements; I hunt down a combination of salty and sweet. The contrast allows for me to find unique and interesting flavors that would be lost otherwise. I fell in love with the Guayeco Guava Jam the first time I tasted it, so I knew I had to use it on my grilled cheese. Fiore Sardo is a cheese that has a permanent place in my refrigerator at home, and Pastures is a cheese that I have been excited about since we received our first wheels in the shop. I am pleased to combine these flavors together to create a slightly sheepy, salty and sweet gourmet grilled cheese for you all to enjoy.”

4 07 sardoFiore Sardo – With a paste more golden than is usually found in sheep milk cheeses, Fiore Sardo has a hard natural rind that is banded by black wax. This semi-hard cheese is sharp and savory and the slightest shaving of it brings simple, olive oil-dressed pasta alive. This is one of those cheeses that is just as good to slice and eat as it is to use in your favorite dishes.  Also, this cheese is very versatile for pairing and will match well with many white and red wine varietals.
Sale Price: $15.20 / lb – Buy Here 


4 07 pasturesPastures by Saxon Homestead Creamery – Pastures is a 4 month aged cow’s milk cheddar made in Wisconsin by Saxon Homestead Creamery. Pastures has a creamy, semi-firm texture with mellow crisp flavors of grass and hints of sweetness on the finish.
Sale Price: $20.00 / lb – Buy Here 




4 07 guavaGuayeco Guava Jam – Guayeco 100% Natural Guava Jam is made in small batches with fresh guava fruit and no fillers, corn syrup, or preservatives. This deliciously thick and sweet jam is the most flavorful guava spread you’ll ever try. Guayeco is a family-owned company with over 50 years of experience. Cheesemonger tip: Try this jam with Koko’s Coconut Gouda for the ultimate island taste.
Sale Price: $6.49 each – Buy Here


National Grilled Cheese Month is here! Another Amazing New Sandwich at Wally’s!

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National Grilled Cheese Month is here! After the success of last year’s grilled cheese creations, we are extremely excited to bring you a fresh batch of gourmet grilled cheeses designed by our very own cheesemongers every week of the month.

3 31 lorenzo'sWe are going to kick April off with a grilled cheese, El Salsero, by Lorenzo Broadnax, one of our cheesemongers in Wally’s Cheese Box. After a salsa tasting with Heidi’s Salsa, he had the inspiration to include salsa into our classic grilled cheese, which includes aged Gruyere and Emmental on brioche. The rest is history!

Here is what Lorenzo himself has to say about it: “When I add Heidi’s Happy Medium salsa to a grilled cheese, I am comforted with the memories of growing up in NYC eating pizza. The salsa adds a pleasant spice and twist to a classic grilled cheese. If you like grilled cheese with a mild spice and tomato soup then this is the perfect sandwich for you.”

Lorenzo’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich, El Salsero – Order Here

3 31 caveCave Aged Emmental

Famous cooked cheese from Switzerland, fruity tasting and distinguished by the large holes in the paste. Cave aged for 14 months, it is sweeter and stronger than ordinary Emmental and this one won a coveted gold award in the 2003 World Cheese Awards.

Cave Aged Emmental – Sale Price $16/lb. Buy Here


3 31 kaltbachKaltbach Gruyere Cave Aged

This Swiss Alps classic using raw cow’s milk and traditional rennet. Each wheel weighs ninety pounds and has a pebbled brown rind. This Gruyere is aged in natural caves whose bacteria and air add complexity to the full flavored, smooth, rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor.

Kaltbach Gruyere Cave Aged – Sale Price $20.96/lb. Buy Here


After growing up in a Mexican family surrounded by food, Heidi of Heidi’s Salsas began re-creating some of the salsa recipes that she grew up enjoying. Soon her friends and coworkers were demanding more and more. In 2009 Heidi entered her salsa and won first place in the 30th Anniversary of Los Angeles Farmers Markets salsa contest. We are excited to be carrying her salsas here at the Cheese Box. Made without any corn based preservatives or vinegars, these salsas are the real deal. If you are a fan of authentic salsa, you have to try these salsas!

3 31 heidis mediumFor the Happy Medium Salsa, Heidi uses her original recipe of finely chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice as the foundation. She then adds in more spice to give it a stronger heat. Great for those that want to flirt with heat but don’t necessarily want to be in pain.

Heidi’s Happy Medium Salsa – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here



3 31 heidis hotCan you say ouch? If you are the kind of heat lover that likes to forget what it’s like to taste, then this is your salsa. For Chupacabra’s Revenge, Heidi uses the same fresh ingredients chopped and prepared that you find in the Original, but then takes the heat to extreme heights.

Heidi’s Happy   Chupacabra’s Revenge Hot – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here



3 31 heidis mildThis Mild Salsa is for those that want to get that fresh taste of tomato and cilantro without the hot burning a spicier salsa will carry. The use of lime juice adds an extra element of freshness that will bring you back chip by chip.

Heidi’s Happy  Original Mild – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here


Massiglia Extra Virgin Olive Oil – From Napa Valley to Your Table

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It’s Not All Wine In The Napa Valley: Massiglia Olive Oil

massigliaWe now take a small break from the world of wine to introduce one of our favorite new products: Massiglia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Like wine, olive oils are composed of different varieties of olives and reflect their terroir in much the same way. It’s no coincidence that the greatest oils come from regions with strong winemaking traditions: Tuscany, Provence and Andalucia have long been among the stalwarts of first-class oil. Over the past decade, the Napa Valley has emerged as a powerful player in olive oil. The closeness to home adds the extra benefit of superior product freshness. Massiglia EVOO comes from the St. Helena estate of the same name. It is pressed on the same day it is hand-harvested. The blending is superb: Frantoio, a fruity and grassy Tuscan varietal and one of the most revered in the world; Leccino, which brings mellowness to the blend, also Tuscan; Maurino, another Tuscan varietal that adds pepper and spice; and Nocellara, a Sicilian varietal that is ripe, pungent and equally revered as a table olive. And best yet, it’s a great deal. Prices for quality oils can be quite high, but this one is right in the sweet spot. Folks, you haven’t had olive oil until you try this heavenly elixir.

Made in Napa Valley on the Massiglia St. Helena estate using olives harvested by hand and pressed the same day. This unique blend of Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino and Nocellara olives creates an aromatic nose with hints of hay and bright herbaceousness. On the palate Massiglia olive oil is round, harmonious and well balanced with fruity notes of pear and white fruit accentuated by an underlying nuttiness.

This Olive Oil is ideal for dipping fresh bread, creating vibrant salad dressings (with a touch of Balsamic and Dijon), and displays its nutty and fruity notes beautifully in a Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Flakes!  In stock at Wally’s Cheese Box along with all the amazing vinegars and mustards you could ever imagine.

Massiglia Extra Virgin Olive Oil 375ML – Buy Here



Wally’s Cheese Box Specials!

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cheese 306 graceFlavorful new treats at Wally’s Cheese Box!

Grace & I Fig Port Infused Press Buy Here

The union of figs and nuts is a classic delight, and when you add Port wine and Fleur de Sel salt you have pure decadence. For this press, Black Mission, Calimyrna, and Golden Turkish Figs have been soaked in port and then married with almonds and hazelnuts. This item is perfect for serving with your favorite cheeses, as a desert, or just a quick snack.



cheese 306 truffleMaison de le Truffe Brie Buy Here

Soft buttery Brie made in Paris, France with a line of Mascarpone and black truffle running through the interior. Luscious and decadent, this cheese seamlessly combines the taste and texture of Brie and the aroma of truffle with the decadence of the creamy rich Mascarpone. With a big bold taste of truffle, our wine experts have recommended the 2010 Clos Salomon Givry 1er Cru Burgundy as a perfect pairing.


cheese 306 blackbirdsTwenty-four Blackbirds Dominican Republic 68% cacao Buy Here

These small chocolate bars are hand made in Santa Barbara using Dominican Republic beans. This dark chocolate has 68% cacao with a complex robust taste. Twenty-Four Blackbirds use the highest quality ingredients and always prepare their chocolate in small batches with no emulsifiers or additives.



cheese 306 salomom2010 Clos Salomon Givry 1er Cru Buy Here

“Producer note: The Gardin-Perrotto family directs this 8.4 ha domaine, of which 6.9 ha of it is their famous monopole Clos Salomon. The quality continues to climb at this address and in both colors. In particular, the ’10 Clos Salomon is really most impressive.

Tasting note: Here the nose is slightly riper than that of the 2011 version with its fresh and pretty red berry fruit, smoke and earth aromas that introduce nicely rich and very seductive middle weight flavors that possess good mid-palate concentration before culminating in a beautifully long and velvety finish. I like the balance and this should amply reward extended cellaring though because of the abundance of dry extract, it could even be enjoyed young.” 92 points, Allen Meadows’ Burghound


Academy Award Cheese and Chocolate at Wally’s Cheese Box!

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The Academy Awards are coming up, and what better way to watch the show then with some cheese and chocolate! We’ve put together some decadent treats to highlight that you are sure to enjoy while watching those stars walk the red carpet.

2 27 tartuffoBoschetto Al Tartufo Sale Price $32.96/lb. Buy Here

Blend of sheep and cow’s milk loaded with truffle bits and aged for two to three months. The combination of cheese and truffle is beautiful and intoxicating. There is a near perfect balance of the taste of sweet, savory, slightly salty cheese and the woodsy, garlicky truffle.



2 27 brilliatBrillat Savarin Sale Price $20.00/lb. Buy Here

Brillat Savarin is a cow’s milk triple crème cheese that was invented in the 1930s. Named after famed French gastronomist Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the natural rind is edible and complements the buttery, creamy center. It is rich and decadent and pairs beautifully with Champagne! Our wine experts here at Wally’s recommend the 2010 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc as a great pairing with the Brillat Savarin.

2 27 pottersPotter’s Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps Sale Price $5.50 Buy Here

Potter’s Crackers is a family company started in 2006 by Peter Potter Weber and his mother Nancy Weber. They hand-make all of their products using organic and local butter, produce, and locally milled flour. The company, which began in Wisconsin but now has a branch in California, creates a variety of hearty crackers that pair beautifully with many of the cheeses we offer at the Cheese Box. Their Potter’s Crisps are packed with rolled oats, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds in a tantalizing nutty, fruity, cranberry hazelnut flavor. The crisps are a little lighter in texture than the crackers, and we’ve been enjoying them with hard and soft cheeses!

2 27 terrysTerry’s Toffee McCall’s Dark Chocolate Sale Price $7.50 Buy Here

McCall’s Dark is their classic toffee enrobed in a luscious dark chocolate and dusted with Georgia pecans. After taking a course called The Artist’s Way in 2002, Terry of Terry’s Toffee felt compelled to begin production of a toffee based on his Grandmother McCall’s recipe. He made that toffee for the holidays with his partner Michael and began making more after numerous requests from family and friends. He still uses the recipe from his Grandmother and is now known as the McCall’s Classic. Since then Terry has developed several other styles of toffee inspired by his travels abroad and the tastes and textures of these new cultures. Terry and Michael opened a Toffee Shop in Chicago in 2005 and have had their toffee featured as a treat at the Academy Awards since that time.



New Gourmet Cheese Specials at Wally’s Cheese Box

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As the Olympics are wrapping up, we wanted to present our Gold medal winners from the World of American Cheese. Each of these cheeses competed hard for their titles this year, and we wish them luck four years from now.

cheese 1 andanteAndante Dairy Tomme Dolce

A goat’s milk cheese made by Soyoung Scanlan of Andante Dairy in Petaluma, CA. During aging these wheels are washed with a mixture of brandy and plum conserve made by friend and neighbor to the farm, June Taylor. One of the only aged cheeses Scanlan makes, Tomme Dolce was devised when she found herself with left over milk from the goats in late spring, a dilemma many goat farmers find themselves with. After the wheels are aged for six months, you find a semi-firm cheese with a creamy consistency and a measured balance of salty and sweet. Our wine experts next door have recommended the 2012 Tatomer Paragon Gruner Veltliner as a superb pairing. This single vineyard Gruner grows on a west facing slope in Edna Valley. Marl, quartz, and limestone contribute to the soils unique mineralization. The 2012 shows notes of cucumber, mint, grapefruit, and white pepper.

Andante Dairy Tomme Dolce Sale Price per/lb: $31.04 Buy Here


cheese 1 red hawkCowgirl Creamery Red Hawk

A washed rind pasteurized cow’s milk triple cream cheese made by Cowgirl Creamery at their Point Reyes cheese facility. The winner of numerous awards, Red Hawk is a complex yet well balanced triple cream with a very pungent aroma. The taste is extremely savory and full flavored with an exact amount of salt and tang.

Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk Sale Price per/lb: $24.96 Buy Here


cheese 1 harbisonHarbison Cellars of Jasper Hill

Mateo and Andrew Kehler make this pasteurized cow’s milk cheese at Jasper Hill Farms in Vermont. The name is homage to Anne Harbison, the “grandmother” of Greensboro, VT. Anne is very active in the community, runs a bed and breakfast, volunteers at the public library and has known the cheese makers since they were children. The paste of this cheese is soft and spreadable and tastes of fresh milk, herbs and cream. The whole cheese is held together by a spruce bark wrap which imparts a woodsy essence to the paste closer to the rind. This is another excellent release by Jasper Hill and has the finesse and elegance that we are used to seeing come from their farm.

Harbison Cellars of Jasper Hill Sale Price per/lb: $24.96 Buy Here


cheese 1 tatomer2012 Tatomer Gruner Veltliner Paragon

This single vineyard Gruner grows on a west facing slope in Edna Valley. Marl, quartz, and limestone contribute to the soils unique mineralization. The 2012 shows notes of cucumber, mint, grapefruit, and white pepper.

2012 Tatomer Gruner Veltliner Paragon  $23.99 Buy Here