This is the third cheese in our yearlong monthly Cheese Give-A-Whey. Marc Freshman, out official cheesemonger for this drawing, works at Murray’s and he told us Greensward is one of his all-time favorites.* It comes in little 10 ounce wheels and it can only be bought at Murray’s.
In 2013, Murray’s and Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont conspired to create a unique, washed-rind cheese for an up-scale New York restaurant- Eleven Madison Park. The idea was for Jasper Hill to make the cheese and for Murray’s to age it in their caves. This turned out to be a very good idea!
In the 2015 US Cheese Championships in Wisconsin, Greensward was awarded Best in Class in the Smear-Ripened Soft Cheeses category.
To produce this award-winning cheese, Murray’s begins with Jasper Hill’s Harbison, a bloomy rind, soft ripened pasteurized cow’s milk cheese wrapped in spruce cambium strips (which we now sell!). The staff at Murray’s then washes it in a mixture of hard cider (Virtue Cider from Fennville, Michigan), yeasts and salt which turns the cheese from white to an orangy color.
After it goes through a rotation in Murray’s caves, the Greensward becomes soft and spoonable. It can be eaten as it is, or heated and served. Murray’s suggest pairing it with a cranberry chutney or pickled cherries.
*In our first interview with Marc, he referred to Greensward when he was telling us about his job:
The flavor of a particular cheese can sometimes vary from wheel to wheel. For instance, with Greensward, a gooey spreadable masterpiece which I consider one of the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted, flavors can subtly fluctuate based on the batch. Sometimes it has a smooth finish with notes of mustard seed and roasted vegetables, while other times it’s more aggressive and tastes like a smoky cheeseburger. Of course, as a cheesemonger, I’m probably more sensitive to those fluctuations, more so than someone who’s trying the cheese for the first or second time.