With the exception of the dreaded Philadelphia roll, cheese and sushi are not usually mentioned in the same sentence, nor should they be. Leave it to Rachel Freier, cheese monger extraordinaire, of Murray’s Cheese Bar to link the two by creating a whimsical yet elegant cheese roll that owes as much to France as it does Japan. It’s part of The Monger’s Table—a new 10-course cheese dinner—an omakaise if you will, that Murray’s is rolling out this month. Not only is it an educational and gustatory journey into the world of cheese, it’s one of the more unusual tasting menus around.
Like many a tasting menu, The Monger’s Table begins with an amuse bouche, in this case a liquid one, a milk punch made with chamomile, sweet vermouth, and some hay from Vermont’s Jasper Hill Farm. “We went to Jasper Hill and sat on a hay bale inside a hay dryer just licking the air it smelled so good,” Freier recalled taking note that its fresh grass and hay that makes the creamery’s cheeses taste so good. I couldn’t help thinking of Sushi Nakazawa’s omakase as I inhaled the aroma of fresh hay. Next up was a dish called Salting the Curd that featured squeaky fresh curds, along with fried ones, which proved a good entry point for discussing cheese making. (more…)