Murray’s Cheese Shop
New York transplants and the rest of us have reason to rejoice. Murray’s Cheese one of New York’s oldest cheese shops, established in 1940 in Greenwich Village, makers of world-renowned charcuterie and cheese products, is now available at 270+ locations in the Kroger family of grocery stores, which includes all of the Smith’s Food and Drug. I had the pleasure to sample the Calabrese Salami made from heritage pork infused with Sangiovese wine and a spicy cayenne and paprika kick, Genoa Salami made from heritage breed pork, seasoned with white pepper and fresh garlic, Cavemaster Reserve Greensward stinky cheese at its best, big and bacony, with a luscious, silky texture and St. Mark’s Bloomy Rind inspired by the French classic, Saint Marcellin, creamy and rich. And complementing the bold flavors, some sweetness in the form of Blueberries Preserves with fresh lemon juice and Heirloom Apple Butter made from tart apples simmered in cider and brandy and seasoned with cinnamon and allspice. These and many more options are available at all Murray’s Cheese shops located within all Smith’s grocery stores.
Kikori Rice Whiskey
Several whiskeys hailing from Japan have impressed me with excellent and refined quality. Now I’ve found another, Kikori Whiskey, but unique to this one is that it is distilled completely from rice. Distilled in Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan, using local rice and pristine water from the surrounding mountains and rainforests that is filtered through the porous volcanic earth of Kyushu Island, after being distilled Kikori is aged in American oak, Limousin French oak and sherry barrels for three to eight years. The final product is a blend of the different ages.
Ann Soh Woods founded Kikori Whiskey and her initial intention was to create a whiskey that would work across many types of cocktails. Like sake, Kikori uses premium rice and has some similar notes. It’s lighter on the palate and lacks the heavy, smoky peatiness of many other whiskeys. I found it to be easy drinking and one that would work well as a starter whiskey for its comparative mildness, as well as an excellent ingredient for myriad of cocktails as it was originally intended. Another plus, is since it’s made from rice it is gluten free and no artificial color is added, allowing Kikori to have a lighter hue.
Kikori is currently available in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. Distributed by Southern Wine and Spirits, it retails at an accessible price point of $45-50.