Murray's Cheese: Where to Get the Good Stuff
Ask a person deeply into cheese about where to procure the good stuff and chances are Murray's Cheese will be on the list—most likely at the top. Reasons abound for their unfailingly high-score card, not the least of which is Murray's owner, Rob Kaufelt.
Rob grew up in a grocery family in New Jersey. He used that experience to carve out his own area of expertise: cheese. He started by purchasing the original Murray's location in the early 1990s. A tiny store at the corner of Bleeker and Cornelia Streets in Greenwich Village, Rob wisely kept the name the neighborhood knew and set about building Murray’s into the powerhouse it is today.
Cheese has grown exponentially as one of the foods people like to talk about, study, evaluate, discover...and, oh yeah, eat. And for those who crave the best, Murray’s is universally acknowledged as the cheese temple. The contacts he’s made around the world guarantee his shop always has the best possible selection.
It also never hurts to be lucky. The new Murray's Cheese came along at a time when food was becoming an obsession to lots of people.
Rachel Wharton, writing in Edible Manhattan (March 2012) quotes Mr. Kaufelt saying:
“All of the movements came together in the last seven or eight years,” says Kaufelt. “Everybody wants to know more about their food,” he says, and once they taste really good product, it’s hard not to want more: “Once they see Paree,” he jokes, “you can’t keep ’em down on the farm."
Innovation is a main ingredient at Murray's. In 2004, Mr. Kaufelt decided to have ‘caves’ constructed beneath Bleecker Street. These subterranean rooms exist for the affineur to practice his or her magic. What the heck is an affineur, you ask? Well, since we’re talking about cheese it makes sense that it’s a French term that refers to a person who’s forte is the art of maturing and ripening cheese, or affinage. The process of maturing fresh cheeses intensifies the flavor and reinforces the structure of the cheese. Vaulted ceilings ensure proper air circulation. Temperature and humidity are carefully controlled to create the perfect environment for this complex alchemy to occur.
Murray’s cheese caves are but one example of Mr. Kaufelt’s infatuation with excellence. His passion is contagious—it manifests itself in his loyal crew and the incredible array of goods to be found at Murray's Cheese.
What's your favorite kind of cheese?
Photo Credit: Marc Gerritsen | The Brander
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