Murray’s Monger of the Month: Robert Broyles, Grand Central Manager

There are so many great, knowledgeable people who work at Murray’s that we wanted to highlight some of them and ask some cheese-centric questions!

First up, meet Robert, our Manager at the Murray’s Cheese in Grand Central Market.

Where are you originally from? 

Coral Springs, Florida (just outside of Ft. Lauderdale).

How did you first get into cheese? 

Honestly, just needed a part-time job. My friend helped me get a position at a cheese shop she was working at in Boca Raton, FL. When I started to discover the vast universe of the cheese industry, with it’s historical significance and scientific backing, I was hooked!

What is your favorite cheese at the moment? 

My favorite cheese at the moment, and probably forever, is our Cavemaster Reserve Greensward. No matter how many times I dive into this cheese, I’m always discovering something new I love about it.

What’s your favorite thing that your Murray’s sells?

One word: Charcuterie! Whether I’m in the mood for something simple for a sandwich, or something fancy like the Jamon Iberico, our selection of charcuterie is never boring!

What do you love about Murray’s?

The people! I’ve never met such a passionate team of people. The excitement about everything we do is so contagious, it makes for a great place to work! 

 

Come say hi to Robert in Grand Central Market!

2017: A Year in Cheese

The final days of 2017 have us in a reflective mood here at Murray’s. As we cement our resolutions and look forward to sharing our plans with you for the coming year, we are also taking stock of the last 12 months. We hit some major milestones this year, and we sold a lot of cheese—over half a million pounds in New York alone. Because we are in that transitional space between taking one calendar down and pinning another up, we figured we’d use this time to collate the most noteworthy moments of 2017 and put them all in one place. This is what a year in cheese looks like.

Murray’s Releases Stockinghall Cheddar

For years, we have been collaborating with some of our favorite cheesemakers to age their wheels in our caves, but this year marked the first time we released a cheese that we developed from scratch. That cheese is Stockinghall Cheddar, a classically clothbound truckle with meaty flavors of bacon and sour cream. It was created by our caves team in conjunction with Cornell University, where we shape the wheels before bringing them down to NYC for aging. We feel like proud parents, only instead of raising these wheels up and sending them off to college, we’re doing it in reverse.

The American Cheese Society Awards

The future is bright for Stockinghall, not least because it’s hanging out in our caves with a bunch of stars. This year’s American Cheese Society festival was held in Denver, CO, and three of our cave aged cheeses took home prizes in their respective categories. Greensward was voted best soft-ripened washed rind cheese in America for the second year in a row, and the third time in four years. Hudson Flower took top honors among sheep cheeses with flavor added, and Project X earned third place among all aged washed rind cheeses. Special shout out to our pals up at Spring Brook Farm for taking home Best in Show with their terrific Tarentaise Reserve.

400th Store

Murray’s began partnering with Kroger in 2008 to expand the grocer’s specialty cheese program across the country. It’s been such a success that this November we opened our 400th location, in Houston, TX.

Kroger Makes it Official

And we are looking forward to opening in many more stores next year, as Kroger officially purchased Murray’s back in February. This gives us the ability to expand the reach of our mission of providing the best cheeses in the world. It also means we had a prodigious send-off for our previous owner, Rob Kaufelt, who transformed Murray’s from a corner village mart into one of the country’s top destinations for artisanal cheese.

New Murray’s Label Products

Along with a wider reach, we also brought some excellent new cheeses into our private line. From classic blue Stilton to the delectably creamy Delice de Bourgogne, you can now get more great cheese with our seal of approval. We’ve debuted some top-notch preserves, too. Our Preserved Pumpkin and Preserved Walnuts are both complete stunners, bringing a new possibilities to your pairing habit.

We’ll be rolling out more goodness in 2018, and we can’t wait for you to try it all. Until then, thanks so much for making 2017 a great year in cheese. Have yourself a happy New Year, and don’t forget to have some cheese with your midnight champagne.

Victory Never Tasted So Cheesy!

It’s official! Murray’s cheeses are winners, simple as that. Murray’s, in collaboration with some of the country’s best cheese makers, is proud to take home even more recognition for our original creations! This week, four of our Cavemaster Reserve cheeses took home awards at the annual United States Championship Cheese Contest held in Green Bay, Wisconsin. While we know that our cheeses are delicious, it’s amazing to see our cheesy creations stack up with some of the best in the country!

Hudson Flower

A collaboration with Old Chatham Sheepherding Company of Old Chatham, NY, earned Best of Class honors in the Flavored Soft & Semi-Soft Sheep’s Milk Cheese category, and for good reason! An American twist on a Corsican classic, Hudson Flower is made by Old Chatham, then sent to NYC where it is dressed in a secret blend of rosemary, lemon, thyme, marjoram, elderberries, and hop flowers before taking a rest in Murray’s state-of-the-art caves. Celebrate Murray’s win with a glass of champagne, some dried apricots, and a wheel of this floral wonder.

Greensward

Created by Murray’s Cheese and Jasper Hill Farm of Greensboro, VT, Greensward earned the Second Award in the Smear Ripened Soft Cheese category. Greensward also was recognized as the #1 Soft-Ripened Washed Rind Cheese and 3rd overall Best of Show by the American Cheese Society in 2016 – meaning there were plenty of stinky cheese in attendance, but Greensward beat almost all! So this creamy, bacony stunner is clearly not a competitor to be overlooked. Recreate Greensward’s best moments with a few slices of speck and a jar of cornichons.

Barden Blue

Made with Consider Bardwell of Vermont, this big blue earned Third Award for Blue Veined Cheeses with Exterior Molding. This cow’s milk classic is mellow, grassy, and perfectly aged by our Caves team. Think of it like lying in a fresh green pasture in the middle of spring – it’s really that good. The judges saw Barden as that versatile blue you’ve been dying to try – you could have it with some robust, herbal pancetta or a bar of bitter, bold dark chocolate. Either way, you’re going to love it.

Cornelia

A natural-rind cheese developed by Point Reyes Farmstead Co., Cornelia was recognized Fourth Overall in the Smear Ripened Semi-Soft cheese category. Needless to say, we’re pretty proud of our girl! She boasts a sophisticated palate of roasted peanuts and fresh milk. She’s our favorite during the summertime, simultaneously reminding us of picnics in the park and baseball games with the family.

You Spilled Beer on My Cheese

It’s like we always say: beer and cheese were just meant to be. There’s nothing like pouring a frosty pint of beer to go along with your cheese plate. But what about enjoying beer with your cheese another way? It’s actually not as groundbreaking as you’d think! Actually, beer and cheese have gone together for centuries, and people have been washing cheese in beer for all that time.

We have to, first things first, thank the Trappist Monks who believed you should live by the work of your hands. So, obviously, they started brewing beer. Like the smart guys they were, they realized that not only was this a tasty drink, but it could add a little something extra to the cheeses they’d been aging to feed their fellow monks. The story goes that they accidentally spilled some beer into their brine during a hard shift, but we like to think of them as the first generation of food scientists – experimenting until something fruity and funky came out.

So why are beer washed rind cheeses just oh so much better? Well it’s because the B. linens (that’s the stinky orange mold that kind of smells like feet but tastes super meaty) help remove the the acidic notes of the beer, leaving behind fruity or nutty notes that we all love. The resulting cheeses end up beefy and complex, with a distinct funkiness that permeates from the outside in. As it so happens, this tradition is one of our favorites – we love the stinkers that pair so great with a handful of nuts and beer. Here’s some of our boozy favorites:

The Other Stephen

These little guys start out as mild mannered triple creams (known as St. Stephen from Four Fat Fowl), but he definitely isn’t as much a saint after he’s washed in a bath of Short, Dark & Handsome Stout from Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn. Suddenly he’s less of a saint and more of a devil – a bit rowdy around the rind that imparts deep flavors of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate (we’re talking that 70+% cacao stuff). But with that creamy paste, it all comes together to make a dreamy little wheel of cheese.

Good Thunder

Created by a finance guy turned cheesemaker, we think Keith Adams was thinking about happy hour when he crafted Good Thunder. Based on classic recipes – we’re talking  monk washed cheeses like Pont l’Eveque and Reblochon – our boy Keith washes this creamy cheese in a local Minnesota craft beer known as Surly Bender. It’s a great name, and it helps make a great cheese with notes of funkiness, porkiness, and smooth cream flavor. The epitome of a work hard, play hard cheese.

Greensward

A Murray’s exclusive that we’ve made extra boozy. This Vacherin Mont d’Or-inspired cheese is washed in an experimental brew of Virtue Cider, which helps create a big and bacony flavor without a hint of bitterness. Honestly, it’s so luscious and creamy that you could use it as a miniature fondue. Foresty and meaty, this is a unique spin on a classic inspired cheese. Very New York, by way of Vermont and the Alps.

Winter is Here to Stay – Stock Up on Winter Cheese

Punxsatawney Phil has spoken and it’s official: Winter is here to stay, at least for another six weeks. While we might not be stoked for the cold weather, there is a plus side to six more weeks of winter – more winter cheese! From our favorite fondue classics, to tangy, warming cheeses, there’s only a few weeks left before these delicious little guys are overshadowed (Groundhog Day joke!) by their fresh, Spring rivals. 

Comte Saint-Antoine

Alpine styles are a go-to for winter months. It’s not just because they are the best for melting into ooey-gooey fondue (even though they’re just the right texture and flavor for a nutty, savory pot). We get our Comte from France’s Jura Mountains, and while it may capture the raw, mountain-pasture fed cow’s milk, it features winter flavors. There’s the sweetness of cooked milk, a bit of stone fruit (like dried apricots that pair oh so nicely), and the quiet nuttiness of brown butter. If you’re not feeling fondue, just slice this Comte thin and melt over winter root vegetables. Comfort food to the max!

Bayley Hazen

One of the things we love about winter foods is the inclusion of chocolate. Dark chocolates, nutty caramels, they’re all delicious and simply perfect for the winter months. But what about a cheese to go along with these succulent sweets? Blue cheese is the way to go, and nothing is better than Bayley Hazen Blue. The paste is a bit drier and denser than your typical English Stilton, but it’s the bold flavors of cocoa, roasted hazelnuts, and licorice that shine in this blue cheese. Add a bar of dark chocolate, and you’ll have a wintery dessert you’ll be craving mid-summer.

Murray’s Camembert 

It’s not just that the downy, tender rind reminds us of a field of freshly fallen snow – it does, of course. But we’re more interested in the straw-colored paste within. Hints of buttered toast are the first thing to hit your palate, totally reminding us of the cold, crisp breakfasts of winter days. After the buttered toast melts away, it’s the bold and beautiful flavors of sauteed mushrooms that stand out on the palate. Maybe cozy up with this little wheel by the fire, with a big glass of bold Bordeaux.

Tumbleweed

There’s something kind of amazing about cheese that you can pair a toasty lager or rich stout with, especially during the winter. Tumbleweed is that cheese – a cross between cheddar and French Cantal, it is filled with brown butter flavors, with a hint of tartness and fruitiness. In the winter months, the toastiness combines with an earthy flavor, creating something warm and rustic, especially when paired with a beer. The perfect combo to ride out these short remaining chilly months, if we do say so ourselves.

Greensward

There honestly isn’t a comfier snack than a wheel of Murray’s own Greensward. Slice off the top rind, and the paste inside is creamy and beautiful – a fondue minus the heat. A scoop – either with a cracker, or a spoon if you’re feeling no-frills about it – tastes of a snowy winter forest populated by pines, and freshly fried bacon. The taste is oh so much bigger than this small wheel will imply, and will keep those memories of winter alive even as the weather starts to warm.