Well-known in the foodie world as purveyors of cheeses, meats, and more, Murray’s Cheese has begun to expand its horizons. And we should be very excited.
Say hello to 80:10:10. This ACS 2019 winner gets its name from its milk ratio (80 percent cow, 10 percent goat, and 10 percent sheep), and is the second cheese to be developed entirely by Murray’s caves team.
While brainstorming cheese styles, the team decided to tackle a Taleggio-esque cheese. Then they had to choose a partner creamery. Developing a cheese from start to finish is a large undertaking, so they decided on Old Chatham Creamery. Its close proximity, along with an already-established partnership, made it the logical choice.
“While Murray’s Cheese developed the recipe on our own, the creation would not be possible without the milk and creamery at Old Chatham,” says Steve Millard, SVP of Operations & Merchandising for Murray’s Cheese.
Collaborations like this are a rising trend in a cheese world where many cheesemakers lack the space to age their wares. Affineurs are a common fixture in the European cheese scene, and more caves are appearing in the US to offer space to makers to properly age their cheeses.
In this collaboration, the farm benefits from a guaranteed sale as well as immediate cash flow. But Old Chatham isn’t the only one profiting from the arrangement. “Murray’s benefits by getting our hands into the vat and seeing a cheese develop from milk to finished cheese,” says Millard. “It’s one thing to talk about the theories and principles of making cheese, and something different altogether when you make a cheese from initial concept to finished recipe.”
Any new cheese requires a lot of R&D, but 80:10:10 came together relatively quickly. Using milk from the creamery, the Murray’s team experimented at the Old Chatham facilities until they had a winner. Once the final recipe was perfected, they handed off production to the Old Chatham team.
Now, after the staff at Old Chatham finishes the cheese, the young wheels are transferred to Murray’s aging caves. There, they’re bathed in a brine solution for a month while their pH and water activity are closely monitored.
The result of all this hard work is the “absurdly snackable” 80:10:10 reminiscent of freshly churned butter. And did we mention that you can order it online? We recommend enjoying it on a crusty baguette while you add another pound to your shopping cart.