The train from Brewster, upstate New York, arrives at Grand Central Terminal, in the “midst” of New York City; i.e Midtown East. As we arrived the family had different needs, those hooked on Harry Potter were of course searching for platform 9 and 3/4, while I was looking for Murray’s Cheese. This day I was the lucky one. Grand Central Terminal is impressive, but also quite crowded, at least at the time we arrived; 9:30 in the morning. From the Central Concourse the escalators take you half a floor up to a sort of ledge at the side of the terminal facing the Lexington Avenue, where you will find Grand Central Market. A lot of tasteful delis to shop for there, but I was after the cheese and Murray’s of course.
I quickly understood there was sort of a linear queuing system, as in most shops of this kind. Then the search starts for finding this dispenser issuing your number so you’re actually in line for some service. I am a man, so I don’t ask anyone, I take pride in finding the damn thing myself. And I did, eventually. I suppose that was good fortune, as my attendant behind the counter turned out very service minded (which I suppose all his colleagues were as well). But I had this feeling this was “my” man, so I presented my wishes without hesitation (after all I had a train to catch). American cheese that was, farmstead and of raw milk. That of course limited the selection. Deducting those I had already tasted, limited the selection even further. Like Cato Corner Farm, where I had been making cheese the week before.
World no. 1 in Cheesemaking
That’s the USA, but most of it never make it to these pages of course. Or to Murray’s for that sake. Then the journey started and we tasted cheese from both here and there, from Oregon in the north west to Massachusetts in the north east. Via Wisconsin which, without doubt, is the largest cheese state. That is something I need to explore as I know very little about Wisconsin cheese and cheese making.
From the European outside, at least for this blogger, they seem to be a bit low key. I doubt it’s artisan cheese that makes them the biggest cheese state, so it could be something there causing them going under my radar. That said, I tasted and bought Pleasant Ridge Reserve – Extra Aged from Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin. Appears to be the “winningest” American cheese. If so, I can well understand why. A very successful piece of work.
I had my doubts, which I also politely, but clearly expressed, but was turned down by a collective majority behind the counter. So I bought a piece. The cheese in question was Cornelia which is aged by Murray’s. Makes no diffenece, though; it is made by Point Reys Farmstead Cheese Company in California which was the reason I politely aired my concern about this not being a cheese from raw milk. But New York is after all New York and I probably have to be more rough the next time. But, I was right of course. Of course I was.
However, do not let this small controversy prevent you from visiting Murray’s cheese at Grand Central Market. Moreover, it’s also perfectly possible to eat well at the terminal. In true American style; more or less whatever you want, with any type of drink to go with with it, at any price level, at any time. No white linens, though, as far as I could see.
Not only Murray’s
It’s not only from Murray’s at Grand Central Market you can buy fine artisan American cheese. They also have an outlet in the Greenwich village. And, at the other side of town, Artisanal Premium Cheese have their cheese shop on 10th Avenue. And if you stroll around, you will probably find many more. 🙂