The Make Our Melt Finalists!

How has your grilled cheese month been? As the gooey goodness keeps coming, the thought of this blessed month ending brings tears to my eyes. With one more week to go, it’s time to

The Guido

announce the three finalists in the “Make Our Melt” contest! We had some great entries, and choosing was not easy. Our process was thorough, and the three finalists have been selected!

The Guido
–  Cheddar and Pancetta, sounds pretty good right? Supper melty cheddar with an intense porky-ness. But it gets 
better… Slathered with tomato pesto and basil aioli, this guy brings grilled cheese to a new level. Thanks, Allyson Taylor!

Give Me A Beet

Give me a Beet– All that I can say is WOW. I had my doubts, but this sandwich really brings it. Mozzarella and Capri (a very fresh goat cheese) topped with Arugula and beets. I can’t think of a better way to welcome spring. Great job, Kristen Suzon Butler!

The Hammy Grammy– Cheddar and apples are a classic, but thrown in a grilled cheese, it’s a whole new level of goodness. It sounds simple, but the grassy, earthy flavors of Bandaged cheddar really come alive when melted. Good luck, Keith Roberts

The Hammy Grammy

Now that we have our finalist we need your help picking a winner. Through Saturday, all three sandwiches will be featured as specials on our melts menu for $6.99. On Sunday from 3PM-4PM we will be sampling all three melts in store, and collecting votes. You can also vote on facebook here. On Monday we will announce the winner, who will win a $50 gift card, and a spot on the menu. Good luck finalists!

Earthy Cheese

Like most industrialized food products, Cheese gets a bad rap for not being the most earth friendly. With Earth day imminently approaching, I find myself thinking about cheese, how it’s produced, and the effect its production has on our environment.

Ultimately the environmental issues that surround cheese are based on its very low yield ratio. It takes a lot of milk to produce cheese! (About 10 gallons of milk for one pound of cheese.) The current model for mass dairy production maximizes yield, with little concern for the environmental effects. I do think that it is important differentiate industrial cheese and what we have behind the case at Murray’s. Most of our cheese comes from smaller farmers, who take the time to care for their milk, and while profit is intended it is achieved with good farming practices in mind. In fact many cheese producers believe that what they are doing is not making cheese or milk, rather growing grass, after all it is the grass that ultimately becomes cheese. Farmers are also finding new ways to keep their systems more closed and efficient. This means turning waste into profit.

Jasper Hill Creamery, cheesemakers who we have worked with for years, are pioneers in the field of closed system dairy farms. They have implemented a waste treatment facility on their farm that they call the “Green Machine.” This converted barn allows the farm to process and reuse waste from both cows and cheese making. Whey, the liquid byproduct of cheese making, is treated and then used to irrigate land, while manure is processed for fertilizing, and methane is harvested for heating. By creating this closed system, and eliminating as much waste as possible, Jasper Hill can make great cheese, while reducing their negative impact to the environment.

These efforts aren’t just good for the planet, they’re good for your taste buds too! The truth is, the correlation between flavor and responsible farming is strong. When a cheese is well made and full of deep nuance, it is often the result of well-fed cows and well-farmed land. If you are looking for something earth friendly, the Mongers at Murray’s should have no problem pointing you in the right direction. In fact, these are probably their favorite cheeses!

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Happy National Grilled Cheese day! This is the Holiest of Holy cheese holidays, naturally we take it very seriously at Murray’s.

The history of the modern grilled cheese sandwich is scattered through American, and global history. While we cannot pinpoint the first grilled cheese sandwich, incarnations have existed since at least the early 20th century. Often called “melted cheese” sandwiches, recipes proliferated the American cookbook scene, however it was not until mass produced pre sliced bread, and the development of Kraft sliced cheese that the grilled cheese sandwich really infiltrated the American food lexicon. The great depression, as well as the continued American desire for fast and easy food led for melted bread sandwiches to become increasingly popular, so much that in 1949 James Beard published a recipe for a Toasted Cheese Sandwich.

Thank god we have moved passed the days of rubbery cheese between flavorless bread. The latest incarnations of grilled cheese focus on quality and experimentation. With the wide variety of cheeses and accoutrements that we have at Murray’s, I rarely find myself eating the same sandwich twice. I take my sandwich diversity so seriously that I’ve developed a formula of sorts:

Melting Cheese + Meat + Accoutrement + Bread (2) = Gooey Goodness

And now we need your help creating the next big grilled cheese sensation. Murray’s Melts is working on a spring menu, and your recipe could be on it. Through April 14th (just 2 more days!) make sure to post your favorite grilled cheese recipe on our Facebook page, or email them to Full details can be found at

Want to make a killer grilled cheese at home, but don’t have all of the supplies? Order one of our Murray’s Melts Packs, and get everything you need delivered right to your door!

Whatever you do, just make sure to celebrate Grilled Cheese Month in style.

Underrated Cheese

By: Lauren McDowell

Many people visit the world famous Murray’s cheese counter to taste something they’ve never tasted before, or to pick up something undiscovered by most. Here are a few of our favorite selections that are often overlooked.

Salva Cremasco – This Italian cow may be the absolute best value in our cheese case. As a cheese lover (and starving student) it’s hard for me to contain my giddy-ness over a supremely and lacticly delicious cheese that doesn’t obliterate my food budget for the week! The rainbow hued rind gives this cube a funkiness that belies its smooth, mild interior.

Cashel Blue – Time and again, we all look to the classic French blues when perusing the blue-molded section of Murray’s cheeses. I’m guilty of it as well, but when I fondly recall a short-lived and glorious semester spent abroad in Galway, Ireland, I reach for the oft-forgotten Cashel Blue. Excellent with a juicy pear or ripe red apple, the creamy and pleasantly mild blue sings with cucumber slices on dark toast, paired with a roasty Guinness, or an Irish whiskey.

Pecorino Foglie de Noce– A rustic cheese from the capital of food in Italy, Emilia-Romagna, these small wheels are covered in walnut leaves and aged in barrels, imparting milky, nutty flavors.

Sheep’s milk cheeses frequently leave you wanting in flavor, but not so with this crumbly wheel, at home both on a cheese board or grated over your pasta instead of the ubiquitous Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino romano.

Pata Cabra – Mild-mannered and semi-firm, this Spanish goat’s milk cheese will surprise you every time. Aged in Murray’s caves, each log is unique with varied levels of tang and pungency, but always anchored by the bright white interior and citrus essence characteristic of goat’s milk cheese. Especially for those who shy away from the more intense washed rinds (think Alsatian Munster), this totally snackable and always underrated selection challenges the palate in the most delightful of ways.

Chevre Noir – A goat cheddar, you ask incredulously? Never. Oh yes, a goat cheddar from Quebec, this bright white block all dressed up in black defies expectations. Grassy and fruity, use it as you would any cheddar for an elevated and creamy experience that even the most ardent of vegetarians can love (the fromagerie up in Canada uses microbial rennet!).

Gorgonzola Cremificato—A question for all my blue cheese-loving friends: if you could eat blue cheese ice cream, would you? If the answer is yes-of-course-no-duh-where-can-I-get-that, you’ve probably been overlooking the luscious, creamy, just-right sweetness of this spoonable cow’s milk Italian blue.  Not to be confused with its more piquant relative Mountain Gorgonzola or less sweet but mighty strong Gorgonzola dolce Artigianale, this is a classic you need to get to know or re-visit.

Brebirousse d’Argental—We get a lot of customers in the Bleecker St. store who come in looking for a spreadable cheese they can nosh on with a bit of baguette.

It seems that everyone knows about creamy cow’s milk favorites, but there are less who are acquainted with this equally wonderful French sheep cheese. This gooey, complex darling boasts a grassy, tangy meaty flavor as unique as its lovely bright orange rind. This is a great pick for cheese plates when you want a cheese to taste as good as it looks!

Brunet—Beneath the unassuming white rind on each round of Brunet one discovers an opus of rich, tangy and woodsy flavored perfection—an accomplishment courtesy of the tender-lovin’ care it was given as it aged in Murray’s Caves.  The interior cake-like texture even comes with its own icing in the creamline. Two textures+many flavors=one great cheese.

Tomme du Bosquet—For the cheese lover who wants a goat that packs a punch without the stinkiness of a washed-rind, here’s your new favorite! This semi-soft raw goat’s milk cheese recalls a strong, earthy pungency reminiscent of a walk through the woods on a cool autumn evening. If that analogy sounds a tad over-the-top romantic, it’s because you haven’t tried this cheese yet!

Pawlet—While washed-rind cheeses traditionally come from Western Europe, rich Jersey cow milk makes American-made Pawlet (from Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farms) a standout in its own right.  The bright flavor and creamy texture will appeal to many palates, and the extra aging in Murray’s caves brings a buttery funk to the table you won’t find anywhere else.

We Love It: Goat Cheese 10 Ways


Goat cheese is known for its bright, fresh, and lemony flavors. During the winter I stick to stronger washed rind and Alpine style cheese, but as spring approaches I start to crave the more delicate flavors. While some goats milk cheeses might be more minerally, and others more pungent, they all pair perfectly with spring. Here are 10 of our favorite things that you can do with goat cheese:

  1. Sweeten it up: Spread VBC Chevre on baguette and top with some honey for a sweet treat.
  2. Crumble on top: Sprinkle Westfield Capri over roasted beets & top with a little coarse salt.
  3. In a quiche: Add a lightly aged goat cheese like Crottin to your next quiche for a touch of earthiness.
  4. In an omelet: Try shredded Garrotxa, spinach and some salty Jamon Serrano.
  5. Paired with bubbly: Sparkling wine goes great with a French goat cheese like Selles-Sur-Cher or Valencay.
  6. On a pizza: Top with herbed fresh goat cheese, your choice of veggies and sundried tomatoes
  7. With greens: Add flavor to an earthy Kale salad with salty Capra Sarda and some sweet dried cherries.
  8. In sauces: Make your favorite pasta primavera recipe and add fresh goat cheese like Petit Billy to the sauce for a creamy texture.
  9. Top off your soup: tangy Chevre Noir is perfect for finishing spring soups
  10. Au naturel: There’s a goat cheese for everyone, whether you love fresh flavors, feta, gouda, something peppery, blues, stinky cheese or something unusual. Try them all!