Whistle Stop Tour: New York {American Cheese Month}

by dccheese on October 1, 2012

in american cheese month,American-NewEngland,American-Northeast,Cheese!,Cheesemongers & Shops,NY Cheese,Sheep,Spirits

american cheese month 2012It’s the most wonderful time of the year. American Cheese Month is here! Now we celebrate the best of American cheese every day, but this month we’re going to do it even harder. We’re breaking out the bubbly, the cider, the bourbon, and any other all-American beverage to toast our beloved cheeses and the American dairy farmers and cheese makers who bring them to us. And we’d like to invite you to join us on a virtual Whistle Stop tour of America’s cheese regions — there’s an election around the corner, you know. So join us. Vote for cheese. Vote for America. Vote for Real American Cheese.

Before we bid farewell to our Big Apple cheese month, though, we’ve got one more wheel to share. Or rather, one cheese, two ways. Brought to you by the type of partnership that epitomizes the American craft cheese movement: Hudson Flower, an Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. cheese cave-aged at Murray’s.

kinderhook creek old chatham sheepherding co.

Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., which professes to be the largest sheep dairy in the US, has produced the well-known Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert and other fresh sheeps milk cheeses and yogurt since 1993. Kinderhook Creek is their newer, 100% sheeps-milk bloomy-rind cheese (their camembert is mixed cow and sheep). I tasted it at the New Amsterdam Cheese Market & Dairy Fair — then turned to the Murray’s stand to see their take,¬†Hudson Flower:¬†Kinderhook coated in herbs and aged in the caves at Murray’s. While young Kinderhook is delicious in its own way, at Murray’s it ripens a little more, getting that coveted oozing edge under the rind. The lemon thyme, rosemary and juniper herb blend imparts a delightful woodsiness that truly complements and enhances the earthiness of the sheeps milk. (The juniper leads me to believe a gin drink would be well-suited for this cheese, but I ate it on the road without access to gin.)

hudson flower murrays cave aged cheese

Long-time readers have likely seen us refer to Murray’s Cheese as New York’s cheese mecca. New York’s oldest cheese shop, in operation since 1940, it was purchased by Rob Kaufelt in 1991. I think of Kaufelt as the godfather of American cheese. I’ve never met him, so I don’t know if he has the Marlon Brando accent I imagine, but I do know that his enthusiasm for American cheeses way before they were cool has helped guide us to where we are today. Murray’s now has two stores and a restaurant in New York and cheese counters in Kroger, Fred Meyer and King Soopers grocery stores in nine states: Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Thank you, Murray’s, for bringing real American cheese to the masses! {When we mention a cheese you haven’t spotted at your local store, odds are good you can purchase it by mail order from Murray’s.}

murrays at new amsterdam market

Did you miss a cheese in our Big Apple cheese series?

Next, we head south for the next stop on the Whistle Stop tour.

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