A glimpse inside the @murrayscheese caves in Long Island City.
Here's a new vocab word: Affinage, the process of ripening cheese. Before the advent of refrigeration, cheeses were traditionally aged and preserved in caves in Europe. The cool, dank environments in caves are ideal conditions for aging cheeses. While historically popular in Europe, cheese caves have only recently become fixtures in the United States, with the Murray's caves being the oldest in the US. The Murray's caves have four separate caves on-site: the bloomy rind cave, the natural rind cave, the washed rind cave, and the Alpine cave. It is necessary that different styles of cheese have their own cave, as each style requires different mold cultures, different temperatures, different levels of humidity, and different amounts of time to age properly. Visiting these caves and learning about yet another part of the cheese making process was extraordinary, and I'd like to thank Murray's for such a wonderful visit and allowing me to taste and tour their caves.