And the award for Most Valuable Platter goes to…

You did it – gifts have been bought, parties thrown, and everything is in place for a happy holiday. (And if not, don’t worry, there’s still time to order from Murray’s!) Really, we think you’re the MVP of this year. So maybe you want to ring in the New Year in a luxurious way befitting your new title. Or maybe you want to share the wealth. Either way, we’ve got you covered with our Most Valuable Platter

There’s nothing like a feast, and this gift definitely falls under that category. This is a one-stop shop for hosting – enough cheese to feed 8 to 10 of your most valued guests, as well as extra-delicious accompaniments to pair. Bringing this platter to your next party will definitely make you the MVP of the event.

And there’s something for everyone, whether it be a hearty, nutty aged Gruyere or a crunchy, earthy Clothbound Cheddar. To tame the wildest of appetites, the creamy Grazier’s Edge and bold Point Reyes’ Bay Blue provide tangy, meaty punches to please those who love a little sharpness in their lives. Uniquely goaty, the Humboldt Fog brings a ray of California sunshine to the whole affair, rounding out the award-winning cheese on this platter.

We add in some thin, buttery ribbons of Prosciutto San Daniele and Creminelli Wild Boar Salami to delight the carnivores in your midst, perfectly balancing between silky, nutty meat and porky, robust salami. Some top notch sides come into play – fruity Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps and crunchy Urban Oven Crackers are perfect for topping the crumbly cheddars and spreadable chevres and blues that need a little TLC. Finish off the collection with super addictive, plump Castelvetrano Olives. With that, you’ve won the party. Pat yourself on the back, crack open a beer, and enjoy that MVP status.

Cheese, Beer, and the Super Bowl: Murray’s Guide to Doing it Right

beer!

By John David Ryan, Field Merchandiser and Beer Connoisseur Extraordinaire 

It’s that time of year: Super Bowl season! We’re all talking about things like: what are Russell Wilson’s chances of leading his team to a repeat victory? What will we serve for game day snacks? Who will have the best commercials? Will the halftime show be as terrible as it always is? And what kind of Uggs will Tom Brady be wearing at the post-game press conference? These are important details—I must know!

 Cheddar & IPA

If you’re like the rest of the cool kids, then you probably drink IPAs and talk about how much you appreciate a fresh, hoppy beer with intense notes of citrus and pine. But seriously: it’s hard to beat a well-made India Pale Ale. Known for starting the American craft beer craze, these West Coast originals aren’t necessarily a beginner-friendly beer, but are probably the most widely enjoyed ale. And they’re made for pairing. Try one with a clothbound cheddar. The crumbly, acidic cheese holds its own against the bitter beer.

Beer suggestions: Ithaca Flower Power, Ballast Point Sculpin, Dogfish Head 60 Minute

Gouda & Stout

Gouda is that fun friend who we all want to show up to our party because they make it so much better. Plus, Gouda comes lots of different ways: creamy, smoked, aged, with caraway seeds, etc. I prefer an aged gouda. It’s full of crystals! Delicious, crunchy tyrosine crystals (that’s an amino acid), which typically form within cheeses that have been aged over a year. It’ll be drier, with hints of caramel, salt and butterscotch. For that reason, you need some sweetness to balance it out. Go with a big stout—something with a lot of roasty, chocolate flavors. (Don’t be afraid to add some honey to the equation if you like it really sweet.) Think of it as a boozy chocolate sea salt caramel truffle—your party guests will be amazed.

 Beer Suggestions: Alesmith Speedway, North Coast Old Rasputin, Evil Twin I Love You With My Stout

Brie & Belgian Pale Ale

It’s hard not to love a double or triple crème brie. The decadent, buttery paste just melts in your mouth. But you need something with bubbles to help cleanse your palate of all of that goodness. Traditionally, you’d pop open a bottle of champagne—but who brings Moet & Chandon to a football party? Grab a Belgian pale or golden ale—something with a cork and cage on top like champagne. It lets you know that it’s been bottle fermented and will give you lots of bubbles, which is exactly what you want with a creamy cheese like this.

Beer Suggestions: Brooklyn Local 1, Ommegang BPA, Brassiere d’Achouffe La Chouffe

Blue & Barleywine

Blue cheese can be intimidating. Heck: its got blue mold throughout the paste. But it becomes a magical food when you properly pair it. For starters, get a younger, creamier blue like Cambozola Black Label or Chiriboga or even Stilton. Then crack open a barleywine—a big ale with a ton of malty sweetness. You’ll taste toffee, dark fruits, molasses and caramel—but watch out! Because of the amount of grain used in making a barleywine, they’re typically higher in alcohol. So if Uncle Larry has a foul mouth and gets loud after a few brews, maybe steer him away from this one.

Beer Suggestions: Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie’s Y2K, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Stone Old Guardian

Alpine & Brown

When I think of paradise, it often involves a herd of cows with bells on their necks, lush pastures, snow-capped mountains, and a smelly shepherd with one of those long, curved sticks…or a beach in the Caribbean. I mean, they’ve got fruity drinks with umbrellas there, but they don’t have Alpine cheeses. Most Alpines are still made by traditional methods and are regulated to insure they are of the highest quality. But when I want a fantastic nutty Alpine cheese, I dream of Comte. I reach for Gruyere. I covet a pound of Appenzeller…and something to wash it down with it. For that, you’ll need a brown ale. Just like Alpine cheeses, brown ales are slightly sweet, nutty, and thoroughly enjoyable by everyone. They are an easy pairing that everyone at your party will love. Then too, if you have leftovers, you can always whip up some fondue!

 Beer Suggestions: Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Bells Best Brown, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

gamedayhero

A Whey Better Hangover Cure

hangover blog

We’ve all been there, keeled over in a pool of our own regret, shame, and poor decisions. A debaucherous lifestyle comes with a hefty price tag. Alcohol can cause all kinds of health problems, but did you know that turning up to a job interview intoxicated could cost you the career of your dreams? Various businesses in the transportation, medical, and construction sectors use a clia waived drug test as part of their pre-employment screening programs. Losing out on a job opportunity as a result of a night of drinking would be devastating, so if you have a job interview coming up, and there’s a chance you will have to complete a drugs test, it is always best to stay sober.

Nonetheless, working in the cheese biz, we’ve known for a long time that a little hunk of queso can do wonders for the wrath of the worst hangover, and the fine folks at Vice explain why cheese makes such a great hangover cure:

Cheese is filled with all kinds of great things: calcium, enzymes, protein; it has the incredible property to coat things, so it soothes your tummy. Cheese is made of milk, and milk is good for you (it helps strengthen your bones and all that jazz). Good quality dairy comes from happy animals whose rich, liquid lovin’ is the base of the best stuff out there. Cows give forth some incredibly buttery and sweet milk, so cheese developed from cow’s milk can become all nutty and caramel-y. Think aged Gruyere or Comté. Goats have that lush, tangy, slightly barny milk that can develop into a rich, petting-zoo-esque floral creation like the famed Crottin or St. Maure. Sheep have the fattiest and flintiest milk out there and can create some great, wooly, slightly floral treats like the incredible Abbaye de Belloc or Ossau Iraty. Buffalo give forth a yogurt-y, tangy, ultra fatty milk that screams to be pulled out into some fresh mozzarella, all creamy and seductive.

So, next Saturday morning when you’re trying to piece together the long string of mistakes you made the night before, get down to Murray’s and grab yourself a wedge. We get it, you’re hungover…we probably are, too.

Via Vice

Fondue Hullabaloo: The Conspiracy that Made Fondue Famous

Who doesn’t love a big old melty pot of fondue this time of year? This much-loved dish (well, pot, really) of melted Gruyere and Emmentaler saw it’s prime in the 1970’s, and still holds a special place in any curdophiles heart. But how did the melty stuff become so popular?

NPR’s economics podcast Planet Money got curious about the origins of fondue, and found…a super-secret cheese cartel. That’s right! Essentially this cabal controlled which producers could make certain cheeses, and at what price they could sell those cheeses. Plus we get to hear from a rogue cheesemaker who continued to make traditional Swiss cheeses (Sbrinz, in particular) in the face of mafia-like control. This is riveting radio for cheese fans.