Raves From The Caves: October 15, 2013

By:Tess McNamara

As fall settles in, all sorts of exciting, new, seasonal flavors start to pop up on the cheese counter. Read below as Tess tells us what is tasting especially autumnal.

Greensward:  Wrapped in spruce bark with a plump rusty, orange rind.  Yeah, that’s what you see, but upon entry to the caves these little boozy, aromatic buggers are all white with frustrating grooves in their rinds.  To get that layer of white mold off we scrub the grooves tediously with teeny nail brushes, a little bit of Ithaca beer, and a healthy sense of humor.    With a little teamwork, our forearms will all be uniform, and this washed rind reserve product will continue to be available both behind the counter and online.  Ample stacks at the moment, all at various mouth-watering stages.

Vermont Shepherd: Guess who’s back in town? The seasonal sensation from Major Farms — one of the oldest and most celebrated farmstead cheese operations — that’s who. From about April until November, cheesemaker, David Major, makes rounds of Vermont Shepard (a.k.a.) Verano, as his herd grazes on pasture.  We’ll have this herbaceous, caramel studded, buttery wonder for a short period so come by the shop and give it a try before it get snagged up!

 Malvarosa:  This Valencia favorite was first made in an effort to preserve the local sheep breed Guirra.  We fully support this endeavor, especially after tasting this semi-soft, sweet, buttery representation of sheep’s milk.  This interestingly shaped cheese takes on the mold of its cheese cloth, which is wrapped tightly around the curd and knotted at the top.  Grab a knife and slice off a hunk and savor the rind for more piquant, barnyard notes.

Raves From The Caves: September 23, 2013

By:Tess McNamara

The crew in the caves have been working hard over the last few weeks to get our favorite fall friend, Little Big Apple back on the counter. Read on to check out how it, and a few more varieties are maturing in the caves!

Little Big Apple:  So what if we start our morning with a nip of apple brandy and a Champlain Valley Triple Crème?  Don’t judge.  As of late we’re pumping out, Little Big Apple, a fall special that begins with a triple crème from Vermont, that we then wrap tenderly in brandy soaked apple leaves plucked from the trees in Warwick, NY.  Many thanks to a team of leaf picking warriors from Murray’s that devoted an entire Saturday to the cause.  Get ready for this little bundle of butter and citrusy booze to knock you into fall.

Abbaye de Belloc:  Another Basque sheep’s milk cheese that lurks in the shadows of its counterparts in the Alpine cave, but we’re here to tell you it might be a little smaller in format, and look different with its rattlesnake skin grey/yellow/brown combination rind, but it’s really top notch in flavor.  Make a cut to discover a rich, creamy, grassy, butter laden paste.  The caramelized finish will keep you coming back for more.

Isle of Mull:  The finish line is in sight for this drum of clothbound cheddar from Scotland.  Get it before it doesn’t show up on our counters again for some time.  If you’re a fan of horseradish and bitter dandelion greens together with sour cream pockets, this is your animal.

Torus:   Softer and more doughy than usual, Torus is a little bit more delicate in texture but consistently bright, tangy, and yeasty in flavor.  Our favorite lemony ring, if you will.  Add some honey, or feel free to spread this temperamental donut on crostini with a savory counterpart to see what the runny creamline will do.

Raves From the Caves: August 27, 2013

By:Tess McNamara

Ahh the Murray’s cheese caves! The best place in New York City for cheese to take some time to age and really up the funk. We consider the caves a sort of day spa for cheese. They get the care they need to be all that they can be! “Raves from the caves” is a new, weekly post that will feature what is ripe and ready on the cheese counter, and what good stuff is in the pipeline. 

C-Local:  We’re working our way through a fresh batch with a bright, tacky rind and young, but daring cream line.  The aroma is dank and the flavor full.  Expect more grilled lamb and savory notes to trump those bushels mixed berries.  At least for now.

Greensward:  The batch released last week is still exquisite and a new tower of nearly 300 has been through its first wash.  The rind on the oldest batch is darker orange with pockets of woodsy brown near the spruce bark; the paste luscious and creamy, tasting like herb butter, roasted veggies, and the wind swirling through a forest canyon.

 

Hudson Flower

Hudson Flower: Hudson Flower for everyone! As the fall breezes creep in, everyone should be psyched to bring home a delicious round of fall foliage in the form of orange and yellow mold adorning most rinds of Hudson Flower. Cold storage continues to hold the cream line in check.  Count on gamey, earthy notes teamed with buttery, tangy pockets.

Torus:   Our little doughman is firmer and more dapper this week, having benefitted from a slightly altered aging cycle.  We plated torus and let the batch experience the tender awakening of the drying room, followed by an indulgent slumber in the bloomy rind cave, and finally some tough, better-shape-up love from the mini-cold storage unit.  The creamline is thin, yet decadent and even, and the paste yeasty, zippy, and bright.  At room temperature the geotrichum rind – now sturdy and taunt – will relax into a velvety coat.

ChevrotThis pocket sized brainy drum is with us in abundant quantities, ready to surprise goat cheese lovers all over with its lemony, cakey, zippy profile.  Consider mini Chevrot a filler for the office donut run.  Why grab one when you can take a dozen to the office and smother them in honey and jam? 

Roquefort:  Oh Roquefort, oh Roquefort, oh how I love your deep blue pockets and your gritty butter laden paste.  Come home with me and make my nostrils flare and the back of my throat tingle.  You are classically radiant.