Holiday Gifts on a Budget: Save Some Cheddar On Your Cheddar

By: Cate Peebles

Looking for something impressive that’s not oppressive to your wallet? We understand. Thankfully, a little extravagance goes a long way and you can impress anyone with one or two choice, delicious treats. We put together a few indulgent gifts that are luxurious AND affordable.

 The Holiday Weekender$65  (ON SALE for $55) – A weekend escape full of tasty cheese,     crunchy oat cakes and decadent fig cake. What makes a better gift than a brief escape from the holiday craziness?

Season’s Eatings – $45 – This rustic gift includes raw, spruce-wrapped favorite, Rush Creek, a cheese that we flip our lids for year after year; it’s the pièce de résistence of many-a monger’s holiday spread.

American Splendor – $40 – This is a lovely little sack of farmstead American craftsmanship: 2 Vermont cheeses, homemade Apple Butter, and a box of crackers. It makes a great gift for the host of the party, or a foodie friend with a taste for farm-to-table treats.

Build Your Own Gift and have it delivered in a Hand Made wooden crate

BYOG– Build Your Own Gift! It all starts with a $15 signature Murray’s gift crate and can be as stuffed or spare as you want it to be. To get the ideas flowing, here’s a sample gift box that costs under $50:

Build Your Own Gift:

Gift Crate – $15
½ lb Tuxford and Tebbut Stilton – $10
1 VBC Cremont – $11.99
Petit Toast – $3.99
1 Dalmatia Fig Jam – $7.99

Total – $48.97

La Quercia Cucina Collection – $39.99 –This little package of exquisite, hand-crafted cured meats is ideal for the meat-loving home chef in your life. Made by one of our favorite American artisanal charcuterie producers, La Quercia makes superb prosciutto, coppa, speck and lardo…just to name a few!

Gift Cards –Starts at $10 – These babies make superb stocking-stuffers and last minute additions to holiday cards and thank you notes. Give a little or a lot—they’re redeemable for online, in-store and classroom purchases.

Fancy food treats don’t have to be off limits—we’ve got something delectable in every price-range. Take a look online and place your order, or we’re standing by to help you make selections: give us a call at: 888-692-4339, Monday- Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. We can’t wait to talk cheese!

 

 

Looking for other cheesy gifts this Holiday season? Check out our Gift Guide to see all of our gift collections!

Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our Cheese 101 videos and become a real curd nerd!

Secretly Scrumptious: The Murray’s Guide to Secret Santa

By:Summer Babiarz

Stumped by “Secret Santa” This year? Maybe you have to shop for someone that you really like and want them to feel the love. Or maybe you are stuck with the one person who only deserves a lump of goal. No matter who you are secretly shopping for, Murray’s has that perfect gift that will insure that the recipient knows you put some thought into it.

All of these products are available both in our New York stores, and Online. (Insider tip: Click on the picture of the product that fits your Secret Santa needs and be automatically directed to its product page)

 

 

Looking for other cheesy gifts this Holiday season? Check out our Gift Guide to see all of our gift collections!

Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our Cheese 101 videos and become a real curd nerd!

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

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” (with multiple bottles of Stolichnaya to insure everyone’s survival). 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 was so smitten by her beauty, he could not 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.

Torus

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 mashugana, 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!

 

Looking for other cheesy gifts this Holiday season? Check out our Gift Guide to see all of our gift collections!

Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our Cheese 101 videos and become a real curd nerd.

 

Cheese to be Thankful For: Must-Haves For Turkey Day

We get excited at Murray’s this time of year. Not only is it our busiest season, but we get some of our favorite cheeses in from around the world. From the super stinky, gooey stuff like Vacherin Mont D’or and Rush Creek Reserve, to beautifully aged 2 year Comté that is like a nutty, buttery bomb. Here are a few of our suggestions of must-have cheeses that will make all of your Thanksgiving guest thankful for you (and cheese)!

Hudson Flower: This Cavemaster Reserve cheese has been a labor of love. We have spent the last few years perfecting this guy and making sure that the balance of sheepy, earthy grassy flavors balance perfectly with its herb and hop flower covered rind.  Getting this balance right has been tricky, but we feel like the wheels that are coming out of the caves right now are the best we have ever seen, and we are so thankful! With its deep floral undertones, this cheese is a serious jaw dropping show stopper.

Truffle Tremor: Want your Thanksgiving crowed to know that you are all about opulence? This California goat cheese classic is  filled with little shaved bits of black truffle. The cheese itself tastes very similar to sister cheese Humboldt Fog, but the truffle adds a rich earthiness that really elevates the slightly tangy and fudgy paste.

Ardrahan: If you are dealing with a group of true cheese heads, this is the perfect way to impress the hell out of them! This guy is a super stinker from Ireland that is unbelievably rich, and has a pronounced flavor of boiled peanuts. Gotta nip on a bottle of whiskey to make it through dealing with the family? Ardrrahan will be your best friend on Thursday.

Fromager d’Affinois: Creamy, sweet, rich and spreadable like room temperature butter, this bloomy rind crowed pleaser from France will steal all the attention away from that turkey you just spent 8 hours cooking. Put a wedge out with the rest of your meal, it will pair beautifully your cranberry relish!

If you don’t have time to wait in line next week,  hop online and order ahead from both our Bleecker Street and Grand Central locations. Live outside of New York? No Problem! Check out our Thanksgiving collection and all of the other cheeses we have online. We ship nationwide!

Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our Cheese 101 videos and become a real curd nerd!

 

So, What’s The Deal With Cheese 101?

Over the last few weeks, you might have noticed that we have been sharing a series of videos called “Cheese 101.” Earlier this year, we were trying to come up with new ways to share some basic cheese knowledge. If you look at the Murray’s mission statement, it ends with the phrase “… to continue to educate ourselves and customers on the pleasures of cheese.”

We take our mission seriously.  We’re here to put specialty cheese at the forefront of food conversations in America. While there is a bevy of cheese information out there, we wanted to make it quick, easy, and most importantly, fun to demystify cheese which led us to the “Cheese 101″ video series.

Our first four videos covers the basics. From choosing the perfect wedge, the appropriate portioning size, and pairing with the perfect beverage, the videos help guide you through all the facets of buying cheese. Our first two videos are out, but look for “Cheese and Drink Pairings” on 11/19 and “Entertaining with Cheese” on 11/26.

Being a real curd nerd takes time and dedication, we hope that this series provides a a brief  introduction that you will need to dive into the land of curds and whey.

Still feeling a little anxious, and want a little help buying that first round of cheese? Check out our Cheese For Beginners selection, and get it delivered right to your door, or send it to a loved one for a funky holiday gift. You can view all of our 2013 holiday gift collections through our digital Gift Guide. Remember, you can order today, and schedule your delivery closer to the holidays!

Want to take your cheese education to the next level? We offer a variety of different cheese classes 6 days a week at our Bleecker street store!