Saturday May 26th, 4:30pm
The History of New York's Oldest and Best Cheese Shop: Murray Greenberg (never met him; he died before I got here) was a Jewish Spanish civil war veteran and communist who opened a wholesale butter and egg shop a few doors up Cornelia street in 1940. The old timers tell me that even though he was an old leftie, he was still a street smart capitalist who used to buy cheese cheap and trim it and sell it. In the 70's he sold the shop to his clerk Louis Tudda, an Italian immigrant from Calabria. The old shop was used like a bodega or a Korean deli is today; not only cheese was sold but cheap oil and tomatoes to the locals, who were predominantly Italian back in '91 when I bought the shop. That's changing now. I'd left the family supermarket business in '85 to do full service specialty shops in New Jersey, where I was from. When my shop, in Princeton tanked with the crash of '87, I wound up in my brother's old apartment here in the Village (he's a lawyer and he'd moved to L.A.), wondering what to do with my life next. One day, when I was in line at the original shop, I heard Louis say he'd lost his lease and was closing. I made him an offer and moved the shop to the corner of Bleecker, where we stayed 14 years, until November '04, when we moved to our current location at Bleecker and Leroy. Frankie came with the shop; he lived around here and had been the delivery boy, then a counterman through college, and stayed here when his folks returned to the island of Malta where they were from. Louis himself worked for a year before he went back home. We'd hang out behind the counter selling cheap cheese, mostly commodity stuff bought on deal. Around ten years ago we got serious about the good stuff, and at first we couldn't sell it. Now we can't keep it in stock! The first line we got in was Neal's Yard Dairy cheese, and boy, did it sit there in the case. The old neighborhood is changing. Zito's bread, older than Murray's even (1920) is gone, and so is the pioneer of all, Balducci's up on 9th St. (Citarella's there now). But the new customers are a lot younger and hipper. We always had a good staff, though this is by far the best. I'm often grouchy, but everyone else was, and is, really very nice. Go figure. And the business grows each year. These days I can barely keep up on all the new stuff that's going on: we have a kitchen, a new web site, mail order, a gift catalog, a classroom and cheese caves. It's not quite anarchy but it's certainly not corporate. It's the Village: artists, folkies, poets, creative types have made this their home for over a century. Our shop in Grand Central even has the feel of it. The main thing is to let the customers see our passion, that's what it's all about. Turn them on to whatever we've got going. Taste it yourself. My Grandpa, whose own store is in a picture above the dairy case (ca. 1925), and an immigrant (Russian Jewish) himself, always said, in that sort of accent of his, 'go on, take a taste.' Nothing's changed, I suppose. We tell them, 'here, take a taste.' --Rob
Instructor was well informed and knew an unbelievable amount of information regarding products being tasted.
The class was super informative. I just wish we could have eaten the cheese sooner!
The crowed was really rowdy....couldn't hear the instructors. $90 is a lot to spend for something that I didn't feel like I learned anything from. The space was too crammed too :(
The instructor was incredibly knowledgeable, and it was a great environment! Love coming to these classes - would definitely recommend!
The drinks were quite small and the event overall seemed a little rushed, but all told another excellent event at Murray's Cheeses.
Teacher (cheesemonger) was highly knowledgeable, engaging and entertaining! The different cheeses were delicious and the wine glasses were constantly refilled. Great group of people. Fun for anyone who likes cheese!
Super knowledge teacher and overall a really great and interesting introduction to cheese. Definitely made me come back for more!
Instructor was incredibly knowledgeable! She picked some great cheeses that were brand new to me
I've loved Murray's since I moved to NYC, so I thought to take this class. I liked the casual tone of the class/instructors, but felt it was a bit rushed. Most of the information went over my head, as I was not familiar with a majority of the wines/cheeses presented and there was little comparison made to more common cheeses the average person would know. Everything tasted great, but I walked out of the class learning only a very minimal amount more about how to pair wine and cheese by myself.
Generous cheese samples, snacks, and wine refills, and fun instructor!
Saturday May 26th, 4:30pm
Thursday May 31st, 6:30pm
Saturday Jun 2nd, 3pm
Monday Jun 4th, 6:30pm
Tuesday Jun 5th, 6:30pm
Friday Jun 8th, 6:30pm
Sunday Jun 10th, 2pm
Tuesday Jun 12th, 6:30pm
Friday Jun 15th, 6:30pm
Saturday Jun 16th, 3:30pm
Sunday Jun 17th, 4:30pm
Wednesday Jun 20th, 6:30pm
Thursday Jun 28th, 6:30pm
Wednesday Jul 11th, 6:30pm