Our friends at Condé Nast Traveler have featured Murray’s as the go-to spot for a cheese fix! They stopped by our Bleecker St. store to meet our mongers and get a little insight into the passion instilled in each of these cheese wranglers. Check out this fun little video they made:
It started with an apartment in Brooklyn. That, maybe, is not how you’d expect the story of a creamery to begin, but Jos Vulton is not exactly what you’d expect when you picture a cheesemaker. Following the siren call of the craft, he left his career as a metal worker and began making cheese in his kitchen. When faced with the task of aging that cheese, he turned to his only option in the wilds of Brooklyn – he aged them beneath the sidewalk outside. After a few years of testing and tasting, he opened a real-deal operation in New York’s western Catskill mountains, in a small little hamlet known as Walton. This has been the idyllic setup, far from the humble kitchens of his cheese’s youth – he sources milk from his neighbor’s herd of Holstein and Jersey cows, imparting his raw milk cheeses with the terroir of the Catskills.
We at Murray’s are unbelievably thrilled every time we get to taste a bit of what Vulto has to offer (and since they’re always in our cases, that’s fairly often). Take a look at the sampling of Vulto Creamery’s delectable raw cow’s milk cheeses and feel free to indulge.
Named for the town just a hop, skip, and a jump from Vulto Creamery, Hamden originated from its stinky sibling, Ouleout. Legend has it that Jos decided to let a few wheels just go wild, letting their earthy, crunchy rinds develop naturally. We like to think of it as Tomme de Savoie’s Hudson Valley soul sister – if features notes of fresh spring milk, freshly cut grass, and toasty hay. If you’re picking up a chunk in our store (and we think you definitely should), don’t forget to grab a loaf of crusty baguette, a few dried cherries, and maybe a couple of cans of a good farmhouse ale. You’ll thank us.
Say it with me: OOH-LEE-OUW. The name is actually a double-meaning. For one, it comes from the Algonquin word that means “a continuing voice” – and trust us, it comes with a flavor that definitely lasts. It’s also the name of a creek that flows through Delaware County, right past Vulto’s creamery. Ouleout is the perfect name, in our opinion, since this creamy raw milk beauty is washed to stinky perfection. Made in the same vein as Ardrahan and Munster, the smell of this guy certainly isn’t misleading – while the taste isn’t as pungent, it is definitely briny, with strong notes of roasted coffee. Not for the faint of heart, but we love all cheeses, stink and all.
We love a sweet story when it comes to cheese (even though this definitely qualifies as ‘savory’). In a tribute to his wife, who always wanted to have a cheese named after her, Jos Vulto named Miranda after his late wife. Miranda reminds us of a classy lady, casually dining in a speakeasy. That fact has a lot to do with Miranda’s weekly wash in a locally produced Absinthe called Meadow of Love – the orange rind from this brings lush herbaceousness to the button-like wheel. The bright yellow, creamy interior is lightly bubbled, but imparts a big, meaty flavor that reminds us of a French Dip sandwich, au jus included. Pack on the meatiness with a few slices of speck and some tangy, garlicky pickles.
If you’re starting to get the feeling that Valentine’s Day managed to sneak up on you this year, don’t worry, we feel you. You can go with the classics + flowers, but there’s still time to come up with something that is unique to your loved one’s taste. Something that says “I love you, in all your cheeseloving glory”. We’ve got your back on this one, and have a few gifts that you can give that say, “I was thinking about you”.
If the love of your life loves puddle-jumping, spends their days browsing cheap flights to Europe and beyond, and dreams of vacays visiting Italy’s historic sites rather than the beaches of the Bahamas, this is the gift for them. La Dolce Vita (“The Sweet Life” for you non-native Italian speakers) transforms a cheese plate into a moving experience. This exquisite selection of salumi, formaggio, and snacks comes from a country where food is a deity and features classics like sheepy Pecorino Calabrese, silky Speck, and plump and briny Castelvetrano olives. Look, we know you couldn’t afford to get your boo those tickets to Milan – but this is way better, if you ask us.
Forget diamonds, forget Rolex watches – this collection is more luxurious than the two of them combined. Designed to pair with a tall glass of bubbly, this collection was cooked up specifically for a romantic, memorable night in. Like champagne, the three cheeses from this collection will delight your senses and add a bit of excitement to date night – from the earthy Truffle Tremor, caramelly sweet Ewephoria, or velvety Hudson Valley Camembert, there’s nothing quite like cheeses and champagne. They’re a match made in heaven, just like you and your Valentine.
Cheese and crackers are nice, but you probably want a little bit of sweetness specially for Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing quite like an Effie’s biscuit and a dollop of creamy Delice de Bourgogne or a tangy sweet Chiroboga Blue. This selection tastes of home – it’ll remind you of breakfast at your mom’s house, or tea time at high noon. Whether you’re going for a fancy snack or a cozy treat, this collection is the perfect balance of both.
You love them, you know you do, but maybe you don’t want Domino’s for your Valentine’s Day dinner. We get it, and we definitely believe in compromise when it comes to relationships. That’s why we propose The Cure to your ailments – a spread of glorious meat that no one can say no to. From the simple smoky Mosefund Mangalitsa Bacon to the rare and delightful Iberico de Bellota or creamy foie gras. Ditch the floppy, half-burnt pepperoni and break out the ultimate gift for the love of your life – it’ll give ‘meat lover’ a whole new meaning.
When you think of French cheeses, we wouldn’t be surprised if your mind immediately went to Brie. It is, after all, one of the oldest cheeses to survive over the years and make it onto your cheese plate. But if we’re being honest, we’re enamored with Brie’s younger brother – a farmhouse Frenchie with the earthiness and toastiness that we love in a spreadable French cheese: Camembert!
The original Camembert cheese came from the northern region of Normandy, France. Made by Marie Harel in 1791, who was visited by a priest from the Brie region of France named Abbot Charles-Jean Bonvoust. He passed along the recipe for preparing a cheese with a bloomy, edible rind which was produced in his homeland, that we now know as Brie. The recipe was apparently altered in the process (think of a game of cheesy telephone), creating a similar, but distinctly delicious new cheese.
Often times, Camembert is mistaken for or confused with it’s cousin, Brie. Though they are both made of cow’s milk, Brie originated from central Ile de France, while Camembert comes from the northern region of Normandy. Brie is usually made in larger wheels, and is milder than the more pungent wheel of Camembert. Camembert is a bit softer and creamier than brie, which has a more pudgy and gooey texture.
There have, since the cheese’s creation, been many different versions of Camembert. Unfortunately, because of FDA regulations on raw milk cheeses, we cannot import the traditional AOC Camembert du Normandie. But we’re always on the hunt for the best Camembert we can manage – and we think we’ve found it. The tender, downy mold rind gives a contrasting bite to a melting straw-colored paste within. Aged to rich, creamy perfection, this wheel of Camembert is toasty, buttery, and ever so lactic. This is the kind of cheese that can stand up to a bold, big red wine like Bordeaux, or is balanced by a bright Hefewiesen.
If you’re looking for the perfect pair for Camembert, the answer is simple: apples. Apples are Camembert’s best friend and neighbor, as the land around the farms Camembert is made on are often apple orchards. You can go simple by slicing a few apples, drizzling with honey, and pairing up with our gooey wheel. Or, just break out a bottle of cider or a glass of apple brandy – either way, you’ll be savoring this sweet and savory combo.
So begins this year’s award season. We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about our favorites, both in television, film, and cheese. If we were handing out the awards on Sunday, this is who we would choose to award those Golden (Cheese) Globes. In preparation, be sure to pair these cheeses with your Golden Globe viewing party.
If you’re looking for a cheese to pair with this seaside film, we have to recommend an aged Manchego. Its salty, crumbly paste is going to pair great with the sea salted air (or your salty tears). While we can’t promise that this cheese will bring your family closer together, or solve your failed marriage, we can promise that it’s delicious.
Best Musical or Comedy
Much like this highly fanciful modern-day musical, La Tur is simply decadent. While Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are busy balancing chasing their dreams and falling in love, we ask – why not have both? This creamy, fluffy cheese is like a dream come true with the kind of champagne they’re serving at those parties in Hollywood, and you better believe we’re in love.
Best Animated Film
Annelies may come from the Alps, not by the sea, but these two have more in common than you’d think. Much like Moana was chosen by the sea to travel across the oceans, Annelies has traveled over mountains and across the sea to get to Murray’s caves. The result is an inspiring flavor that has a flavor that tastes distinctly where it comes from (hazelnuts, alpine grasses, butterscotch). It’s a taste that you’ll be thanking us for. And as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says, You’re Welcome.
Best Television Drama
We might not know what is real and what isn’t when it comes to Westworld, but we do know one thing: West Loop Salumi is the real deal. With the rustic and traditional style that would have made it right at home in Westworld, Chicago’s Salumiere is as masterful in charcuterie as Anthony Hopkins is as making lifelike robots. We also think their savory, porky sticks are just about as addictive as this winning show.
Best Television Musical or Comedy
We’ve seen this show win before, and Mozzarella is no different. Everyone loves these two – they go well with everything (comedy, drama, pizza) and pretty much everyone loves them. Whether you’re a free young spirit like Rodrigo, or a veteran traditionalist like Thomas, you can style mozzarella any way that you like – it’s a flexible, versatile cheese that can be snacked on, melted, or smoked.
Best Limited Series
The Night Of kept us guessing for nine episodes, and it still doesn’t seem like enough. Was Naz innocent? What really happened that night? We could have been satisfied watching this series all year – but limited series means limited. But you know what does keep us satisfied all year long? Our monthly clubs; delivering exciting new cheeses, meats, and pairings each month, it’s like a new episode dropping. I mean, we have to channel our anticipation somehow.