The Cheesiest Gift Guide for Entertaining Tailgater to Gourmet Foodies


Popular wisdom advises to think outside of the box. My advice is to think inside of the box, think of the cheesy goodness that awaits- inside of the box. I'm all about having nothing but fun with family and friends, mostly because no one that knows me ever expects me to actually bring my top secret recipe for anything to any special occasion. I'm a creative, rarely inspired to cook elaborate (or not-so-elaborate) meals, that's why we go to restaurants. Fortunately, we have options for entertaining with everyone from tailgaters to gourmet foodies. 

Thanks to the fine folks (possibly family?), from Murray's Cheese for sponsoring our Cheesiest Guide to Entertaining with informative content and promotional product.

Let's begin with a beginners introduction to cheese.




Fresh Cheeses

Fresh cheese does not undergo the aging process, maintains a moist consistency, and is best consumed- fresh. Notably, fresh cheeses do not have a rind, are characterized by their light, clean, milky taste and bright white color. Try- Fresh Chevre, Fresh Mozzarella, Burrata


Soft Ripened & Hardened Rind Cheeses

With a variety of flavors ranging from rich, sweet butter to earthy mushroom with a peppery bite. The texture of these cheeses can be very gooey, spongy, tacky, or anywhere in between. Some mottling and color variations are common on the rind of quality handmade cheese, developing  from molds that are added during the cheese-making process. Try- Brie, Haystack Peak, La Tur

Washed Rind Cheeses 

The outer rinds of these cheeses are washed in liquids such as brine and/or liquor, to encourage bacterial growth, a distinctive orange coloring, and the reputation of being stinky cheese. Try- Epoisses, Taleggio, Grayson

Semi-Soft Cheeses

Most of these mellow, pliable cheeses are excellent selections for melting. The medium consistency and texture varies from pudding soft to borderline firmness. Try- Fontina, La Serena, Morbier

Firm Cheeses

A personal favorite, firm cheeses slice up well for snacks and entertaining. Firm cheese is slightly softer in texture than Parmigiano-Reggiano with sweet, nutty, earthy flavors. Try- Cheddar, Manchego, Alpine/Swiss cheese

Hard/Grating Cheeses


These are the aged cheeses with little moisture, ideal for grating into and over food, and great for snacking. The flavors of these cheeses can be sharp, salty, or sweet. Try- Parmigiano Reggiano, Podda Classico, Aged Goudas

Blue Cheeses

Blue cheese is easily recognized by its signature blue molding. Delivering a wide variety of texture and flavor, Blues can be creamy, crumbly, mild, piquant, or meaty.


Now let's bring on the cheese!



For the Serious Cheesehead- Murray's Cavemaster Cheeses- Deep in the secret labyrinths of our cheese caves, great things are happening. Our Cavemaster selects unique “baby” cheeses from talented artisans, dresses them up (think fresh herbs, fennel pollen…), pats them down (local wine, craft cider) and sings them to pitch-perfect ripeness. You won’t find these Murray's exclusive cheeses anywhere else—or any other cheeses quite like these. Aged right here in LIC, Queens for local flair. (pictured)

For an Instantaneous Party in a Box- Murray’s Essential Holiday Gift- With favorite, stunning American artisan cheeses from lush Champlain Valley Triple Cream to Point Reyes Bay Blue, silky La Quercia prosciutto, brown butter caramels, jam, honey, sea salt crackers and more—this box is an instant party and a delicious, abundant holiday blowout. (Invite yourself over if you’re smart.)

For Going All Out- Murray's Top Shelf- This is the crème de la crème of collections—total lavishness and no reservations. We assembled our fanciest favorites in one place so you can impress the best. Open a picnic basket to find glorious cheese, Iberico ham, Barolo-infused handcrafted salami, honey comb, olive oil crackers, and more. Holiday heaven.

For a Whole Year of Cheese Elation- Murray's Cheese of the Month- Serious cheese-lovers, welcome to heaven. Club members receive three limited production, life-changing cheeses each month, lovingly selected to reflect the seasons. 2016 = the year of cheese euphoria.

For the Carnivore- Murray's Meat of the Month- Each month you’ll receive our choicest, meatiest selections: cooked & cured, whole & encased meats; salamis; and pates. Two of these delicious selections will arrive at your doorstep on the third Thursday of the month, ready to be torn into. 


In our circles, we party with the serious cheeseheads, so its all about the Cavemaster Cheeses. My kids will look at you quite confused if you were to hand them an individually, plastic-wrapped slice of cheese. They're learning to appreciate the Gouda life. (I'm cheesy!) Aside from sharing the Murray name and New York origins, I have to say that Murray's Cheese brings about the ambiance of a classic, neighborhood vendor with an upscale flair. There is something for every taste and every budget. And did I mention, the chocolate? 


Visit Murray's Cheese to see all that they have to offer!  

I was compensated with a promotional item from Murray's Cheese for the purpose of facilitating this advertorial. As the owner of this blog, niecyisms and nestlings, I am compensated to provide my opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. This blog may contain affiliate links. Even though, as the writer/owner of this blog receiving compensation for posts or advertisements, I will always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in the honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question

Denise Murray Wong

Hi! I'm Denise, a media-friendly, New York based, freelance writer with a background in Early Childhood Education. My blog, niecyisms and nestlings focuses on everyday living, family, parenting life and style, and healthy lifestyles. Denise and her husband, along with their three wonderful children and two rescued cats live in the rural mountains within the beautiful scenic Hudson Valley of Upstate, NY.