About Leo

Leo has been slinging cheese behind the counter at Murray's in Grand Central Market for the last 2 years. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2011 and has worked in the food industry for over 7 years. Currently, Leo is the e-Commerce Assistant Manager and a Food Studies student at The New School.

Nina Kaufelt talks Kraft Singles and Real Food


By:Nina Planck Kaufelt

Nina Planck Kaufelt is the wife of Murray’s Big Cheese Rob Kaufelt. She is a writer, blogger and mother who has dedicated her work to helping to decode the jumbled world of nutritionism.  This is a post from her Facebook that was posted in response to the Kraft Singles labeling controversy. 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has decided it doesn’t really want to tell parents that Kraft singles – a cheese-like product – are good for children. I WOULD say, “too little, too late,” which might be said about many professional dietician organization decisions on the relative merits of real and industrial food over the past half century – such as margarine, “heart-healthy” (sugary) breakfast cereals, the suggestion that children over two drink skim milk to prevent heart disease, a recommendation lacking any basis in science, or the advice that Greeks give up olive oil in favor of corn oil (they really did, according to a new book by Nina Teicholz) – but I have a forgiving nature.

Anytime a professional group stands up for its integrity, however mildly, against Industrial Food is cause for celebration. It IS good to see the Academy urge plenty of high-quality calcium for children, for these small persons must grow entire skeletons. Calcium is not readily found in kale, friends. Try chicken soup, wild salmon (with bones), and full-fat, cultured dairy, instead. Remember that calcium goes well with the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which are found in their full form only in foods of animal origin. That’s not vitamin A in collards and carrots – it’s beta-carotene, which your body has to make into vitamin A.

As for the half-perfect advice from the dieticians – I can live with that, too. It gives me something to do. Real food saints are too busy fermenting, ranting about raw milk laws, and talking about the perfect number of food miles per serving. I’d rather buy my lacto-fermented vegetables in a jar, drink raw milk when it’s convenient, and spend time with the sinners – the people for whom time and money matter. Hear ye, hear ye, sinners! Come home to real food. Start, sinners, by taking all phony and fractured foods (soy “cheese” and protein powder and liquid egg whites and non-fat yogurt) out of your pantry. Ruthlessly cut all corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil from the cupboard. It’s all rancid and oxidized and too rich in omega-6 fats. Make white sugar a tiny part of your pantry. See what’s left, eat that, and call me in the morning.

Celebrate Great Cheese! Murray’s Wins 2 Awards at the US Cheese Championship

award_winning_blogWe are so very honored to have just received two “Best in Class” awards for our Cavemaster Reserve cheeses  — Greensward and Hudson Flower — at the US Cheese Championships on March 19th in Wisconsin!

Greensward and Hudson Flower are two of eight Cavemaster Reserve cheeses, which are sourced from local cheesemakers and begin as young artisan cheeses before going through the affinage tradition.  Murray’s team tries various methods and special applications, determined by the cheese, including covering a cheese in herbs, or wrapping in brandy-soaked apple leaves, or washing in local beer, but most importantly, allowing time and attention to develop each cheese’s full flavor potential.

Greensward, bathed in cider and brine, is big and bacony, with a luscious, silky texture and notes of forest and resin from its tidy spruce jacket. Hudson Flower is more delicate with its coating of herbs like hops flower and thyme. Both are beautiful reflections of the flavors of New York state.

Stay tuned — we plan to introduce 3 new Cavemaster Reserve cheeses in the coming year!


Get Lucky With These Golden Irish Cheese & Beer Pairings

beerblogWhile it might just be a really good excuse to get a little too drunk, St. Patrick’s day is also a great opportunity to eat some Irish cheese. Don’t worry, we’ve included several beer pairings to make sure you try some funky new curds… while pounding down the cold ones!

Irish Cheddar:

Pinch free! Wrapped in green wax, this cheese couldn’t be more perfect for St. Patty’s Day. Irish Cheddar is an excellent translation of pastoral Ireland. It’s bright and tangy, slightly sweet flavor profile is perfect for the aficionado, or the cheese beginner. We pair this classic cheddar with a classic beer; go for a hoppy, floral IPA. The complexity of these beers will go perfectly with this cheddar’s easy flavors and creamy finish.


Cows that graze on clover fields are simply destined to make fantastic Irish cheese. These wheels are funky! But remember, you can’t have funky without the letters f-u-n! The truth of the matter is that this cheese doesn’t just go well with beer, it craves it! We’d keep it local with the beers (it also goes really, really well with scotch and whiskey.) Try a Barleywine, or another traditional brew like Old Ale.

Cashel Blue:

300 years in the cheese making biz means that you must be doing something right. Cashel is one of the most voluptuous and creamy blue’s we have ever laid our paws on. It’s not super poignant; like Stilton or Roquefort. This guy is much mellower and smoother, perfect for those who are just adventuring into blue cheeses. Celebrate this fantastic Irish blue with a fantastic Irish beer! Go for a dry Stout with a thick, creamy head.

Hanukkah Cheesin': The Forgotten Story of Curd and the Festival of Lights

Ed note: Loyal blog readers may remember this story from Hanukkah 2013. We’re republishing it this year because…well, because it’s an amazing story of how cheese saved the day, and we can’t get enough of those.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the “Festival of Lights” better than a big old wedge of curd. Every year, I make the schlep down to south Florida where the whole family gathers to enjoy a week of family time and fried food. And every year I brave the death-stares of fellow travels as I stink up the 3 hour flight with an insane amount of cheese stashed in my carry on. Although in my house I can’t guarantee that these treats will make it 8 days…48 hours would be a real miracle.

Until recently, I didn’t know that cheese, at one time, was part of traditional Hanukkah food celebrations. And just like any food tradition in the Jewish faith, there is a neat little story that will help us rationalize 8 days of gorging ourselves on some fantastic fromage. While this part of the Hanukkah story has become mostly forgotten in modern culture, it’s a great tale of heroism and the perfect excuse to munch on some curd, or gift a little wedge. It goes something like this:

Judith decapitating her enemy

Judith was a strikingly beautiful widow from the town of Bethulia in sixth century BC Israel. Her community came under siege, and annihilation looked inevitable. That is, until Judith came to the rescue. She put together a spread of wine and cheese and entered the enemy camp. The leader, Holofernes, was so smitten by her beauty, he couldn’t resist her offering of ripe cheese and intoxicating wine. He got bombed. I mean really, really drunk, like me at any Bar Mitzvah I have attended in the last 6 years. He was so wasted that Judith reacted in the most natural of ways: she stole his sword and cut of his head.

Jewish heroines really know how to bring the badass.

While this story takes place centuries after the Maccabees and their “Miracle of Light”, for many years it was incorporated into the Hanukkah celebration. Judith’s heroism was celebrated along with the Maccabees victory as an example of the perseverance of the Jewish people. But stories and cultures are not static, and this exciting tale has slowly been abandoned for the the modern Hanukkah story and celebration.


So, now that you know that it is not only acceptable, but encouraged that you get some cheese for Hanukkah, you might want a few suggestions for the platz-worthy wedge. The time and location that Judith’s story takes place would undoubtedly be a land full of goat and sheep milk cheeses. Allison Hooper, from Vermont Creamery, is what many consider the heroin of American goat cheese. She has helped to create the American market for goat cheese, and explored techniques and methods that have helped shaped a quality driven landscape of cheesemakers across the United States. Try some velvety and tangy Coupole or some fudgy and lemony Torus (and a dollop of their Crème Fraîche is a wonderful substitute for sour cream with your latkes). Nutty and grassy Ossau Iraty with a schmear of Seashore Honey will drive your great-aunts taste buds mashugganah, and a beautiful wheel of Cavemaster Reserve Hudson Flower will insure your eternal reputation as a real mensch.

One final piece of interesting cheese and Hanukkah knowledge. You know those potato latkes that Bubbie spends all day frying up? Potatoes were not brought over to Europe until the colonization of the American continent, but Jews had been making fried latkes for centuries. Guess what the original  latke was made of? You guessed it…CHEESE!

Regardless how you celebrate Hanukkah this year, Murray’s hopes it is a fun and full of friends and family. Here is to the festival of lights, and really good cheese! L’chaim, y’all!

8 Delicious Gifts for 8 Tasty Nights

Finding that perfect gift for Hanukkah is a task that drives the best of us meshugenah. So many different people to shop for, so many nights! Here are our top 8 picks for 8 super tasty Hanukkah treats!


1. Epoisses

Perfect for that little sibling who’s really a stinker (I’m talking to you, sis). She made your parents proud with her law school, her perfect GPA, and her doctor boyfriend. Tell her how much she really stinks.

assortment_stilton_set_gift_20152. Stilton Crock

We’ve all got that terminally single, chronically depressed aunt who maybe overdoes it on the tranquilizers and vodka. Get rid of her blues with something blue. This classic English blue comes in adorable little crock!

chocolate_sweets_murrays_munchies_two3. Munchies

Forget about Gelt, give the kids something that they’ll actually want to win in this year’s dreidel games. Alternatively, keep these addictive candy bars for yourself and let the kids eat the crappy stuff.

oil_vinegar_due_vittorie_balsamic4. Due Vittorie Balsamic Vinegar

Dealing with the stress of the holidays (in-laws, anyone?) is enough to put any dad in a sour mood. Give him a gift with a flavor that’ll match how he feels! Due Vittorie is hands-down one of the best vinegars we’ve tried, with deep, bold red fruit flavors.

chocolate_sweets_salty_road_taffy5. Salty Road Taffy

We all have fond memories of Bubbie digging into the nether-regions of her pocketbook to pull out a chewy, decades-old wad of salt water taffy. Up her game with these small-batch confections, guaranteed to make her platz.

honey_jam_spreads_confiture_de_cerises_noires6. Black Cherry Confit

Even though she’s the maven of the guilt trip, your mother is still the sweetest woman in your life. Give her something equally as sweet! These cherries pair perfectly with a creamy brie, or make for an indulgent ice cream topping.

honey_jams_spreads_mikes_hot_honey7. Mike’s Hot Honey

You know that uncle that never shuts up? Here’s a way to get that trap closed, for at least a few minutes. While it might not be a permanent fix, you’ll be able to get a few words in. This honey is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.

oil_vinegar_olive_oil_castillo8. Castillo de Canena Smoked Olive Oil

Grandpa’s olfactory might not be what it used to (hence the overwhelming smell of moth balls and Old Spice), so give him something he can actually taste! This flavor-forward olive oil has a nice smokiness that’s hard to miss!

For our other gift suggestions, be sure to check out Murray’s 2014 Holiday Gift Collections! And Happy Hanukkah!