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.