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Murray's Cheese Shop, 257 Bleeker Street, New York, NY 10014, (212) 243-3289, is having its 6th Annual Festival of Irish Farmhouse Cheeses in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. We suggest that you try them with your St. Patrick's Day Breakfast and Dinner, or for snacking in-between. Here are the types of cheese available:

Now through the end of March, Murray's presents a unique selection of Irish farmhouse Cheese in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Ardrahan: Eugene and Mary Sums received a silver medal at the 1995 British Cheese Awards for this cheese with its distinctive, earthy aroma. Beneath the brine-washed rind, the deep yellow interior is firm and slightly chalky. It exudes a wonderful complexity of flavors, the zesty acidity underscoring the buttery, savory, meaty character. The finish is reminiscent of a young Gruyere.

Bally Blue: Made by the Woodford dairy's Fivemiletown creamery in Northern Ireland, this soft-ripened mild blue with a bloomy white rind is kin to Cambozola and Blue Castello, but with a richer milky flavor. Made from pasteurized full-cream milk, the cheese comes in 1.7 kilo wheels and is good for snacking with the appropriate Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc.

Bollie: Tender hand-rolled balls of soft cow's milk cheese are naturally preserved in sunflower oil and delicately flavored with herbs and garlic. John and Anne Brodie's family farm supplies cow's milk.

Cooleeney: This Camembert-style is hand-made by Breda Maher in the Tipperary region of Ireland. Full-flavored and grassy, with a distinct aroma of mushrooms when ripe, Cooleeney's rich, semi-liquid interior benefits from the lush pastures for which Tipperary is famous. The cheese ripens in four to eight weeks and has a fat content of 45 percent.

St. Killian: Made in County Wexford on Carrigbyrne Farm by the Berridge Family, this hexagonal-shaped full-flavored Camembert is made with vegetable rennet and is one of Ireland's oldest cheese traditions, dating back to the 1750's. Hand-made with a bloomy white rind, these 250 gram discs are made of pasteurized cow's milk from the farm's own herd. Mild when young, the cheese develops an aromatic, clean flavor and, in Ireland, is often breaded and fried. St. Killian goes well with red wines such as Beaujolais, Burgundy, or Claret.

St. Tola: St. Tola is a soft goat's milk cheese, prized for its delicate tang and fruity aroma. It is the choice of many leading chefs, not only for the cheeseboard but also as a starter. In County Clare, Derrick and Meg Gonton make this fine cheese using milk from their organic goatherd.

Cashel Blue: from Neal's Yard Dairy's description: In the 1730's, the Grubb family of Tipperary left Ireland for America. They were to be shipbuilders and prospects looked good when they secured a lucrative contract on the Eastern seaboard. The contract was, unfortunately, more secure than the will to honor it, and on completion the Grubbs found themselves badly out of pocket. Discouraged with their New World experience, they returned to Ireland and set up a grain milling business back in Tipperary. Just over two hundred and fifty years later, the Grubb family find themselves doing business with the New World once more. Made from pasteurized cow's milk, Cashel has a soft texture and a sweet flavor cut through with streaks of mellow tasting blue-green mould.

Durrus: from Neal's Yard Dairy's description: Made in County Cork by Jeffa Gill, Durrus is a raw milk washed-rind cheese, Jeffa began making Durrus in the late seventies. In the early days, the cheeses didn't stray far from the kitchen, being made over the stove and eaten around the table. When the neighbor tried them they were so impressed they asked to buy some. Jeffa agreed and word spread beyond the immediate locale fuelling a demand Jeffa couldn't meet with the milk from her eight cows. Now Jeffa buys milk from a farmer six miles down the road. The flavor of Durrus is milky-sweet, the texture oozy rather than runny and is delicious eaten on a baguette accompanied with some fruit, a sunny spot, music, wine and someone close.

Gubbeen: Tom Fergusons family has farmed in the Schull area of County Cork since his great-great-great grandfather arrived there on a bicycle Ferguson keeps pure-bred Friesian, Simmenthal and Kerry cattle to provide the milk for his cheeses, which his wife Gianna makes every day. The curds are washed before they are ladled into molds, giving Gubbeen its smooth, pliable texture. The cheeses are rind-washed with salt water.

St Brenden Brie:
(Sorry, not a whole lot of information on this one) Soft ripened, very runny, strong flavored Irish brie.

Just for kicks, we also have an Irish Farmhouse Butter for the occasion: delicious full flavor, lightly salted, country farmhouse butter with a deep yellow color signifying rich pastures.

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