The Story of Torus, Our Newest Cavemaster Reserve Cheese

by Adeline Druart, Master Cheesemaker & Operations Manager at Vermont Butter & Cheese Company

 

At Vermont Creamery we are known for making the best fresh and aged goat cheese in the country. We’ve been in business since 1984, and have been working with Murray’s for almost that long – way back when Rob, Frankie and Cielo were all behind the counter at the tiny shop on the corner of Bleecker Street. Our creamery crème fraiche, butter, and fresh goat cheese became a staple at the store, as did our small geo-rinded cheeses (the brainy-looking cheeses that are made with Geotrichum candidum mold). Over the years we’ve shared cheese beyond the shop, too – teaching classes, visiting restaurants, even hosting a bus of cheeselovers on a trip to the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival.

As Murray’s and Vermont Creamery continued to grow, what was left to do but create a brand new cheese, one that was made in Vermont and sent to age in the caves below Murray’s in New York City? Since we are known for our geo-rinded cheeses, it made sense to make an un-aged, or “green,” geo cheese for Murray’s to age – and that’s just what we did.

Vermont Creamery cheesemaker, Adeline Druart gathered the wish list from Murrays: Size? Small. Shape? Round. Ash? Nah. Creamy? YES. Yeasty-sweet-earthy-complex? Obviously. And yup, that signature brain-y Geotrichum rind, please. Our cheese expert friend from Australia, Will Studd put in his two cents and suggested we cut out the center, making a donut to create even more surface area for a yummy rind throughout. And with that brilliant idea, Torus was born.

Sounds easy enough? Not so. Adeline and the Murray’s cave master Brian Ralph worked for a year to perfect this little “donut.” Moisture and salt levels had to be just right. The milk had to be selected to accommodate the natural climate in the cave. The cave master had to “wake up” the dormant yeast and cheese cultures inside the carefully packaged and cooled cheeses to assure that the rind would grow properly in the cave. Luckily, with time we got it right. The result is a quintessential Geo goat cheese, with a flavor and texture unique to Murray’s and Vermont Creamery’s partnership.

What’s in a name?  Donuts make us think of Homer Price. And Homer Simpson. But we would like to think that making a good cheese requires more savoir faire. After lists of names by many, Murray’s buyer Aaron Foster came up with “Torus,” the geometric term for the ring shape of the cheese.  Indeed an artisanal replica of a geometric torus, we also think of Taurus the bull, an equally appropriate image for this cheese that required tenacity and drive to create such a satisfying reward. Vermont Creamery has spent years developing the Geotrichum category of goat cheese in America, both in perfecting the cheese and also in educating the market.  We are delighted to share the challenge with Murray’s who will serve their customers with a unique taste of Vermont and Manhattan terroir this holiday season.

Read more about Torus in the Wall Street Journal

Coming to a Murray’s Near You: Fondue Nation

                                                                     

Saturday, December 15th, 2-6pm at every Murray’s shop nationwide

Warm up with winter fondue! Be a part of Fondue Nation, America’s largest fondue party. Hot, gooey, melt-y cheese for all. On December 15th at every Murray’s shop nationwide, you’ll find eager cheese experts ready to feed you a dreamy combination of cheeses and teach you how to be fondue fabulous. Free samples & recipes, activities for kids and a chance to win a trip for two in NYC*, valued at more than $2,000. To find a Murray’s shop near you, go to our store locator.

 

New York City Eataway Sweepstakes

 

 

 

 

 

Grand prize includes 2 nights at the Dream Downtown hotel, dinner at Murray’s Cheese Bar and a private tour of our cheese caves. Ten runners-up  receives a Boska fondue pot and three melting cheeses so you can continue the fondue cheese tradition year-round. Enter to win now through December 31.

After-Hours Holiday Shopping Event! Wednesday, December 5th 9-10:30pm

After-Hours Holiday Shopping Event

Wednesday, December 5th, 9-10:30pm at Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village, 254 Bleecker Street

Join us for an exclusive after-hours shopping event where you’ll

Taste new craft beers and ciders, holiday gifts, and our favorite seasonal cheeses.

Save 20% off all retail purchases, classes, mail order and catering orders for one night only.

Help New Yorkers hit by Hurricane Sandy. Ticket sales will be donated to Food Bank for NYC’s Sandy relief fund.

 

Admission is $10. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Food Bank for New York City’s Hurricane Sandy relief fund.

Space is limited! Signup online.

Questions?Email beth@murrayscheese.com.

Murray’s Gets A Makeover! Meet the new murrayscheese.com…

Cheeselovers, rejoice! It’s the all new Murray’s Cheese website! We’ve got to say, we think it turned out pretty great.

Take a few minutes to browse the site and see what’s new and improved, and don’t miss out on this awesomeness:

– AMAZING new photos and a zoom feature. [Caution: screen-licking may occur]

-Easier browsing and better searching

– An easy to use “drag and drop” build your own gift tool

– An updated pairing guide so you’ll know what cheese to enjoy with that special bottle you’ve been saving.

– A virtual cheese counter – get recommendations to find the perfect cheese!

– A new learn about cheese section with everything you’d ever want to know about cheese.

All new gifts for the upcoming holidays

– Cheesemaker profiles so you know the story behind every wheel

– You can leave product reviews now!

Oh, and our blog has a fresh new look! We’ll be posting cheesy news here on the regular, so come back soon to see what’s cooking at Murray’s.

We hope you like it! Share your favorite photos or features on facebook or twitter, we love to hear from you!

 

Meet A Monger Monday: Robin Minkoff

Cheesemonger: World’s #1 Best, #2 Noblest Profession

Robin H. Minkoff

When I tell people I’m a cheesemonger, they either say, “That’s awesome!” or “Do you like that?”  People who say, “That’s awesome!” are totally correct.  Ok, sometimes it is stressful dealing with commuters who feel like you’re not slicing their prosciutto (paper-thin!  PAPER! THIN!) fast enough, because they have to catch a train.  But sharing my love of cheese with the masses is a lot of fun, and something I believe in.

Sometimes I tell people that if I weren’t a cheesemonger, I would probably be a doctor, because I think it’s really noble to heal people.  I’ll never be a doctor, though, because I can’t even listen to people talk about giving blood.  Please don’t say the phrase “donate plasma” around me.  Anyway, I think being a cheesemonger is a noble thing, too.  Cheesemaking is an ancient craft that connects us to the earth, to the animals who produce the milk, and to the people who craft that milk into something complex and delicious.  As a monger I get to connect people to this ancient tradition. Terroir!  Yummers!

I got into cheese from the farm-y end: before moving to New York I volunteered at a family farm in Colorado where I helped milk goats and cows and made butter and cheese.  I visited a cheese maker in Vermont last fall, and the odor in the cheese room during the make – warm, sour milk – broughts back a lot of fond memories for me.   I also got a little experience aging cheese at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy when my friend Leah worked there (taste the Rockies!).  When I had a desk job as a consultant in Denver I would read books about goat farming and the cheese industry on the bus to work.  I went from clicking around on a computer to slinging cheese for the most influential specialty cheese purveyor in the country (next, The World…).

Career mathematics: mongering > consulting.  Maybe some day I’ll have my own goat farm and make farmstead cheeses.  As I know from my reading, though, as a dairy farmer, you have to be a part-time veterinarian.  So maybe I’ll be a doctor after all.

Robin Minkoff is a cheesemonger at Murray’s Cheese in Grand Central Terminal as well as a merchandising specialist for our Kroger outposts. Not even lactose intolerance can stand in the way of her love of cheese.