Via murrayscheese, attention mail handlers, do not panic. The odor emanating from the box is expected:
Our mail is not like your mail. #Cheese #OdorNormal #SpecialDelivery
This brick-red, hybrid-rinded beauty is Saintalain, also known as Le Drean. Made by Laiterie Garmy, and now affinaged by the famed Rodolphe Le Meunier, the name, Le Drean, comes from a play on the name of Andrew, the cheesemaker’s grandfather (the scrambling of syllables resulted in Drean); the other name, Saintalain, seems to be a play on Alain Garmy, who currently runs things.
Ok, the double naming thing is a little confusing, but bear with me, as the cheese itself makes up for it in flavor. The Saintalain comes from Pont-astier in the Auvergne region of France. The Auvergne is well-known for another sainted cheese, the St. Nectaire, one of France’s signature wheels, and the Saintalain is a variation on the traditional St. Nectaire recipe. Most St Nectaire producers get their milk from larger cooperatives these days, drawing the milk from around the region, but the Laiterie Garmy is a farmstead operation, supplying all the milk for the makes on their own. In addition, the rind is lightly washed, resulting in the appearance, which is of a natural-rinded cheese with a dusty red exterior. At first I was convinced the exterior was a result of annatto coloring, due to the deep, even red color, but apparently it’s just the b.linens and other cultures resulting from a light brine wash.
The hard rind is a brick red color with a stony, textured exterior, with occasional patches of bright white mold scattered around the mold. The interior, ivory-colored, is semi-firm, lightly eyed, oozing slightly as it warms but retaining a springy, slightly marshmallowy texture. In flavor it is tangy, fruity and a little beat meaty, mild wth a distinctly musty, earthy quality, and a bit of wet hay and barnyard from the washing. It’s similar to a St Nectaire but with a little more complexity.
Purchased at Murray’s Cheese.
Want to taste many cheeses without spending many bucks? L’il Murray’s might be the cheese club for you, with just a few bite-sized portions sent to you each month for your enjoyment. Click through to learn more!
Lincolnshire Poacher, from Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese, is a shapeshifter — flavor-shifter might be a more accurate description — of a cheese. Fashioned for the most part in the style of a traditional British wheel, it nonetheless has distinct alpine qualities up front before finishing as a solid cheddar.
Despite it’s traditional-sounding name and provenance, the Poacher is actually one of the new generation of British cheeses. Produced by brothers Simon and Tim Jones on their farm at Ulceby Grange in the Lincolnshire region of England, cheesemaking began in the early 90’s, using the organic raw milk of their herd of East Friesian cows. Welsh cheesemaker Dougal Campbell, the man behind Tyn Gryg cheese, got them started, before Richard Tagg came on board as head cheesemaker. Made in 44lb wheels and based on a modified Somerset Cheddar recipe and is natural-rinded rather than being cloth-bound like most British cheddars.
The natural rind on the Poacher is gray-brown and dusty with a stony surface, flaking off in spots. The paste is a yellow-golden color, towards amber near the rind, firm, smooth and a bit crumbly, eyeless but with occasional fissures and cracks. The aroma is more towards the alpine side of the spectrum, but the flavor is where the complexity really kicks in. The cheese starts out more like an alpine, buttery, sweet, nutty and fruity with distinct pineapple notes. As the flavor develops in your mouth, however, the cheddary character kicks in, sharp, salty and grassy with a tingle on the tongue and finishing strong. This cheese sneaks up on you, in a great way, dare I say like a poacher stalking his prey through the woods (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Purchased at Murray’s.
Sadly, I missed last weekend’s Big Cheesy 2013 (see my post from last year’s event), but SeriousEats has a good slideshow of the competing grilled cheeses. Melt Shop was declared the big winner for the 2nd year in a row, but all the entries look pretty darn tasty to me:
This weekend, Openhouse brought back their grilled cheese cookoff, The Big Cheesy. There were some heavy-cheese-hitters lines up, namely (the returning champion of cheesiness) Melt Shop, Milk Truck, Lucy’s Whey, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Say Cheese, Sons of Essex, and ‘wichcraft.
We scoped out the event to bring you a blow-by-blow roundup of what NYC’s grilled cheese masters had to offer. Click through the slideshow to see!
Following up on my reblog of the Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery post about Geotrichum cheeses (see previous post), it seemed natural to try one of the products of their years of experimentation and development: the Torus, a couronne-style, geo-rinded pasteurized goat’s milk beauty, made in collaboration with Murray’s Cheese. As VB&C puts it, they make the “green” cheese, and then send it to Murray’s where it receives its final aging and affinage in the Murray’s caves. VB&C’s cheesemaker Adeline Druart — a graduate of the Institut Universitaire Professionel, Alimentec in France — worked on perfecting this cheese with Murray’s cavemaster Brian Ralph, developing a recipe that had the proper moisture content and cultures for the unique ecosystem below Bleecker St.
Inspired by the classic Couronne’s (translation:”crown”) of France (Rodolphe Le Meunier’s Couronne de Touraine is probably the most widely known example on this side of the pond), Torus takes its name from the geometric term for a ring-shaped primitive. VB&C actually credits Will Studd — Australian cheese expert and the man behind the excellent “Cheese Slices” TV series — for suggesting to them that they work with this format, after he had tasted a previous, un-doughnut’ed version. As I’ve learned with my own Couronne experiments, this format affects the ripening patterns, accelerating it due to greater surface area and providing a more uniform distribution of texture and ripeness. In essence, this shape creates a goat-cheese log that has been wrapped in on itself to form the ring.
the diminutive wheel, soft to the touch, has a pillowy white rind, spotted with occasional patches of blue mold, with a light touch of geo wrinkles and a mild, earthy aroma (the Geotrichum culture is known for infusing a particular earthy, musty essence). Cutting it open reveals a soft, dense, creamy interior, with an oozing creamline just under the rind. The flavor is well-balanced between sweet and salty; mushroomy and earthy, redolent of wet cave walls and stone, with herbaceous notes, reminiscent of a fine Selles-Sur-Cher (albeit without the ash layer). All in all a well-crafted cheese and a successful collaboration between two American cheese stalwarts (and not the last one, I’d expect).
Murray’s has a post about “The Story of Torus” that goes into detail on the background and development of this cheese.
murrayscheese is giving away a $1000 spending spree. That is a. Whole. Lotta. Cheese:
guys, we are for real with this. $1000. for you. to spend. at murray’s.
(click the photo to enter)
Not sure where to go for brunch this weekend? Via murrayscheese, another option is now available:
BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH.
Starts this weekend at Murray’s Cheese Bar.
From the Cheese Notes Archives: Brebirousse d’Argental, reviewed in April 2012. Haven’t had this one in a while, might be time to seek it out…
Woah. I’m usually deeply suspicious of “cheese with stuff in it”, especially of the sweet variety, but I have to admit, a Triple Creme cheese — combined with Mast Brothers Chocolate — sounds kind of intriguing (although I’m curious as to how the presence of chocolate in the paste affected the aging process). Murray’s Cheese is responsible for this unusual Valentine’s confection:
LOVE AT MAST VALENTINE’S DAY COLLECTION
Like Beyonce covering Nina Simone, Murray’s covers a classic, hand ladled triple-crème in luxurious sweetness. We’ve married goods from two of our best-loved NYC artisans to create one classy, sensual cheese. Starting with a decadent and rich triple-cream from Champlain Valley Creamery, we layer it with shaved bittersweet chocolate from Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers and then age it to bloomy perfection in our Bleecker Street caves. This collection makes a lovely thing even lovelier by pairing it with velvety French black cherry confiture, and then, to get your heart pounding a little faster, we nestled a bar of Mast Brothers’ Black Truffle chocolate into the hay. At last — a valentine that puts your lips in sync with your heart!
one piece of Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Love at Mast
one bar of Mast Brother’s Truffle Chocolate
one jar of Black Cherry Confit
Pre-order it here.