Memorial Day is approaching and while some turn their thoughts to barbecues and a long weekend, we prefer to think about where the day came from and its importance.
There is a considerable amount of research surrounding the origin of Memorial Day. Placing flowers on soldier’s graves has been a long standing tradition. Annual decoration days at cemeteries often included meals together and a small service. This could be where our love of eating with family and friends on this day comes from.
There are several significant days that could have led to the introduction of Memorial Day. On June 3rd 1861, a soldier’s grave was decorated in Warrenton, Virginia. In 1863, a dedication was held at Gettysburg. On July 4, 1864, ladies decorated soldiers’ graves according to local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. There were many other instances, until 1871, when Michigan made Decoration Day a state holiday. The other northern states quickly followed.
Speeches became a traditional part of the day, with people wishing to offer words of hope and gratitude in honor of those who had died.
The name Memorial Day was first used in 1882, but didn’t become more commonly used until after the Second World War. It was declared the official name in 1967.
On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day from the 30th May to the last Monday in May. Whilst this made it a convenient three day weekend, it also confirmed the importance of having a day to remember those who gave their lives.
We do hope that you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. It should be a time to spend with loved ones enjoying each others’ company, but it should also be a time to remember and reflect on the sacrifices that others have made for us. We are immensely grateful to those who have given their lives as well as the families they leave behind. Keep them in your thoughts this weekend.
We love teaching you about cheese at Shisler’s Cheese House, so today we are here to tell you all about sharp cheeses.
The term “Sharp” denotes a stronger flavor as a result of a longer aging process. Many cheese connoisseurs prefer sharper, more mature cheeses. Some of our more mature cheeses include Asiago, Canadian Cheddar, Manchego, Parmesan, Romano, Sharp American and Sharp Swiss. Our Orange and White cheddars are both medium sharp cheeses.
Sharp American Cheese
Our Sharp American Cheese is produced in Wisconsin along with our Muenster, Brick, Limburger, and Beer Cheeses. American Cheese is orange, yellow, or white in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, and melts easily. It has traditionally been made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby and Cheddar. This is particularly great on cheeseburgers, in grilled cheese sandwiches, and in macaroni and cheese.
It originated when British colonists began making cheddar after they arrived in America. By 1790, American cheddars were being exported back to England and the British referred to them as “American cheese” or “Yankee cheese”. Post-Revolution Americans promoted this usage to distinguish the exports of their proud new nation from European cheese.
Sharp Swiss Cheese
Sharp Swiss cheese is a more mature version of our locally made Swiss cheese that has been aged for approximately 12. The time honored process for making swiss cheese was brought over from Switzerland by the local population of Amish and Mennonite people. We have selected what we believe to be the best locally made swiss cheese. Our Amish swiss cheese is made locally in Pearl Valley, Ohio.
Canadian Aged Cheddar
Our Canadian Fine Aged Cheddar is aged for four years. This gives it a sharp, pungent flavor, that is often slightly earthy. Its texture is firm whilst being slightly crumbly. This works well in sandwiches or grated over dishes as it melts well and will impart lots of flavor to your meal.
Sharp Cheese Wine Pairings
The best red wines to pair with sharp cheeses are intensely fruity in flavor so that they stand up to the tangy cheese. We recommend a Cabernet Sauvignon. Choose a bottle from two or three years ago to avoid an overly tannin-heavy wine.
Even better than a red wine is a glass of vintage port. This will have both fruitiness and sweetness to pair with your cheese. You could even try a hard cider or a strong ale as these are robust enough too.
These cheeses are all great choices if you are looking for punchy flavors, rather than simply a texture from your cheese. It’s a great idea to include one of these cheeses on any cheeseboard that you serve up as they are sure to satisfy true cheese lovers. They pair particularly well with pickles and chutneys as the taste won’t be overpowered.
If you’re not sure about strong cheeses, why not pop into store to try them soon?
Do you like sharp cheese? Let us know how you like to eat it in the comments!
Today we continue our exploration of cheeses with a cheese that is very local to us and close to our hearts: Amish Butter Cheese.
What is Amish Butter Cheese?
Amish Butter Cheese is one of our premium local cheeses.
This unique cheese has a full buttery flavor and is traditionally made by the Amish, this cheese has a wide variety of uses. It is derived from butterkase, its closest ancestor. Butterkase is a buttery and creamy cheese that originates from Austria and Germany. Unlike its predecessor, it does not have a rind. It is a cow’s milk cheese with a pale yellow color. Good quality butter cheese is made from milk collected from cows that are not on artificial hormones. The Amish process of cheese-making does not include any artificial flavors, ingredients or preservatives, which gives the cheese real quality.
If you are fond of only the best quality cheese, it is important to choose authentic Amish butter. Remember that while most of the products labeled Amish butter cheese are genuine, some of them may just refer to Amish as a method of cheese making. These do not come with the Amish guarantee.
How should I eat it?
This cheese is ideal for melting and is featured in many fondue recipes. Try it with crudites and fresh bread for an incredibly fun dinner. Fondue is great if you are having guests over because everyone can select their own options.
It is also a good snack cheese as it is semi-soft and very easy to slice or cube. Many restaurants located near Amish counties feature butter cheese on their sandwiches and burgers. Try melting it in a grilled cheese or adding it to your favorite pasta dishes.
Are there any similar cheeses?
Yes, we also offer a cheese called Havarti, which is imported from Denmark. We stock the plain cheese as well as options infused with dill or caraway. Havarti Cheese has a buttery aroma and can be somewhat sharp in the stronger varieties, much like Swiss cheese. The taste is buttery, with both sweet and acidic undertones.
What should I drink with it?
This butter cheese pairs well with Chardonnay as the buttery flavors blend well together. For beer lovers, we would recommend trying this cheese with any lager or pilsner. It even pairs well with brandy!
Have you tried Amish Butter Cheese? How do you like to eat it? Let us know in the comments!
This year Mother’s Day falls on Sunday May 12, so now is the time to make sure that you have picked up a great gift. As always, we’ve worked to put together a list of ways that we can help you here at Shisler’s Cheese House.
Our favorite way to show her how much you appreciate all she has done for you is our delicious Mother’s Day Gift Basket!
Our Mother’s Day Gift Basket Includes:
- Havarti Cheese
- Assorted Heggy’s Milk Chocolates
- Strawberry Cheesecake Swirl Fudge
- Strawberry Caramel Creams
- Yogurt Covered Cranberries
We think you’ll agree that this is a rather incredible selection but in case you need convincing, we have put together some information about everything included. We’re also going to give you some other gift ideas, in case there’s something in there that your Mom doesn’t like! Read on to find out more.
Havarti Cheese is a semi-soft Danish cow’s milk cheese that can be sliced, grilled, or melted. It has a buttery, semi-sweet taste with some acidity. It’s perfect for making grilled cheese, but it would also be great with a fruit platter after a meal.
Assorted Heggy’s Milk Chocolates
Heggy’s Candy Company has built a rich tradition of premium handcrafted chocolates and candies throughout the United States for over 9 decades. Founded by Ben Heggy in 1923, Heggy’s Chocolates remains one of the premiere candy companies in America. Over the years, Heggy’s Chocolates has remained a family owned and operated business and today they maintain a high level of commitment to their customers and the community.
We know that these are great gifts, so we had to include them here!
Strawberry Cheesecake Swirl Fudge
If you’ve never tried this, you have got to hope that your Mom feels like sharing! This is a fudge unlike any you will have had before.
Strawberry Caramel Creams
The perfect taste of summer strawberries wrapped up in smooth caramel.
Yogurt Covered Cranberries
A delicious treat and something a little refreshing after all the sweets and cheese.
Even more gift ideas
We have a whole selection of different gift baskets to cater for every taste. Whether your Mom is a cheese lover, a bologna fan, or wants to try a little bit of everything, we’ve carefully curated our favorite products to make them smile. We even have a basket for those who love hot and spicy foods! If you’d like to, we can help you build your own gift basket with all of your Mom’s favorite things.
If you want to let Mom pick her own selection of treats, we can provide an e-gift certificate. We send you a code immediately, so this is a great option if you’re not able to see your Mom in person (or if you’re a little forgetful and have left things til the last minute!).
We want to wish all of you Moms a very happy Mother’s Day this Sunday. Enjoy your day; you deserve it!
On May 5, many will come together for Cinco de Mayo. Today we thought that we would explore the history of the day and how it has changed over the years.
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s defeat of the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Considering the small size of Mexico’s Army compared to the French forces, it was an unlikely victory and one that boosted morale amongst the Mexican troops.
Many mistake it for Mexican Independence Day, but this actually takes place on September 16.
In Mexico, it is usually commemorated with military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla itself holds an arts festival, a celebration of local cuisine, and reenactments. However, it is now more widely celebrated here in the United States.
It was first celebrated in the United States in Southern California in 1863. The celebrations were a show of solidarity with Mexico against French rule. It has gradually grown into a time for Mexican-American pride, with culture, food and traditions on display. Whilst it has become a day for drinking and parties here, in Mexico it is still a much quieter day.
The association with margaritas and beer began with marketing campaigns, rather than any tradition.
How do American cities celebrate?
From the New York parade to San Francisco’s family friendly festival, there are events taking place across the country. See live entertainment in St. Paul, Minnesota or try a variety of foods in Chicago.
Here in Ohio, you’ll find lots of restaurants taking part in special events.
Some ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
One of the best ways to celebrate is to learn more about Mexican culture. Talk to people in your community and do some research to learn something new.
Supporting Mexican owned businesses in your area is another way to show your support on May 5.
Finally, you might like to try some traditional Mexican cuisine. Find an authentic restaurant or have a go at some recipes at home, rather than eating at chains. These will rarely give you a taste of true Mexican flavor. If you are looking for ingredients, why not pop in and see if we can help?
How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments below!
We know that you are always looking for new recipe ideas and we always want to make sure that you have them. We also love to help you find new products that you can enjoy from Shisler’s Cheese House. Today we’re exploring our range of smoked meats from Streb Meats to show you how you might use them.
Streb Meats is a third generation family-owned company that has been famous in our area for over 70 years. All of their meats are locally raised and hickory smoked in a real smokehouse. Their American made quality has always been a proud addition to our top quality product lineup. Pop in today and you’ll find us ready to serve you up some of their delicious creations with plenty of ideas for how to enjoy them at home.
Streb Meats Boneless Smoked Ham
It’s also brilliant shredded into casseroles or mixed into pasta dishes. This is one of our favorite smoked meats because it’s can be used in so many different ways. You can allow it to add subtle flavor or be the star of the show.
Streb Meats Fresh Smoked Sausage
Our fresh smoked sausage is another firm favorite from Streb Meats.
It’s great in a fresh tomato sauce with pasta and a good grating of Parmesan. We also recommend making a breakfast skillet with potatoes, onions, garlic, and smoked sausage. This is especially delicious with a poached egg on top!
Add excitement to baked beans with some smoked sausage and a good dose of barbecue sauce. It’s also delicious in lots of rice and pasta dishes.
Streb Meats Smoked Bacon
Our final choice in today’s list of smoked meats is smoked bacon. Of course, there are so many ways to use bacon.
Cook up the classics like spaghetti carbonara or a quiche lorraine to get a full hit of bacon flavor. Fry up some bacon with pancakes for a weekend breakfast treat.
We also love to use it as a quick flavor boost for salads. Simply fry some slices of bacon and crumble them over your dish.
For a surprising addition to your dishes, try making bacon butter. Finely chop cooked bacon, in a food processor if you have one. Mix the pieces into some butter, add freshly ground black pepper, and then blend again until combined. Pop this in a dish or wrap it and chill for up to 3 days. Try serving it with greens, corn on the cob, or rustic stews.
To complement smoked meats, look for bold wines with spice and oakiness. A Zinfandel would work well, or for something more unusual pick up a bottle of white Rioja. For beer lovers, try an India Pale Ale.
How do you like to use smoked meats in your cooking? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!
Today we continue our exploration of cheeses of the world with a look at Romano Pecorino.
What is Romano Pecorino?
Romano Pecorino is a cheese imported from Southern Italy. It is salty and firm, making it an excellent grating cheese. The flavor of Romano Pecorino is quite distinctive, and it’s an important ingredient in many south Italian dishes. It is sharper than the similar Parmesan cheese. This is one of our newer imports that we have been adding to our selection and will continue to add in the future.
The history of Romano Pecorino
Romano doesn’t refer to Rome the city, but to the Romans, who were already making Romano Pecorino 2000 years ago.
Lucio Moderato Columella, who wrote De Re Rustica, says, “the milk is usually curdled with lamb or kid rennet, though one can use wild thistle blossoms, càrtame, or fig sap. The milk bucket, when it is filled, must be kept warm, though it mustn’t be set by the fire, as some would, nor must it be set too far from it, and as soon as the curds form they must be transferred to baskets or molds: Indeed, it’s essential that the whey be drained off and separated from the solid matter immediately. It is for this reason that the farmers don’t wait for the whey to drain away a drop at a time, but put a weight on the cheese as soon as it has firmed up, thus driving out the rest of the whey. When the cheese is removed from the baskets or molds, it must be placed in a cool dark place lest it spoil, on perfectly clean boards, covered with salt to draw out its acidic fluids.”
Though modern cheese makers use heaters rather than the fireplace and use calibrated molds rather than baskets, the basic process has remained the same. It is a very distinctive technique and this imparts a characteristic salty sharpness to the cheese. Romano Pecorino is made from the milk of sheep that have grazed pastures with specific combinations of grasses so that specific flavors are imparted to their milk.
It’s become a popular cheese around the world, known for its fantastic flavor. Currently, about 20,000 tons of Romano Pecorino are exported every year, 90% of which go to North America.
How should I eat it?
It doesn’t melt into strings when it is cooked, making it a great addition to a cheese platter, especially with fruit. We particularly love it with apples and pears. It makes a great snack with a piece of crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
As it grates so well, it’s perfect with pasta dishes, bread, or baked casserole dishes. Pop a chunk of it on the table with a fine grater for guests to add their own garnish.
It also works well in salads, curled into shavings, or grated over soups. We particularly like it with a bowl of rich tomato soup. If you are making pizza at home, you could try using Romano Pecorino in combination with Mozzarella for full flavor. It’s also brilliant in dumplings.
What should I drink with it?
Romano Pecorino pairs well with light red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, and Zinfandel. For a surprising combination, pair it with cider or fruit beer.
How do you eat this cheese? Let us know in the comments below!
With Easter celebrations this week filling our houses with chocolate and delicious treats, we thought it might be useful to share some ways to use up leftover chocolate. That’s if there is any left, of course!
Using real chocolate is one of the ultimate ways to make a luxurious hot chocolate. You only need a little bit to make a brilliant drink, so this is an ideal way to finish your Easter celebrations. Check out our blog post with 6 ways to make a great hot chocolate to make it extra special.
Layer up graham crackers, marshmallow, and chocolate for this fireside treat. It’s a quick dessert that is fun to make with the whole family.
We can’t mention chocolate recipes without mentioning brownies! You might have a favorite family recipe, but you can make it even more delicious by melting some extra chocolate to drizzle on the top once they are baked. If you have leftover candies, crush them up and add them on top as well for a colorful post-Easter bake.
Take some crescent rolls and roll them up with pieces of chocolate inside. Bake in the oven until the rolls are golden brown and the chocolate is melted. These make a great breakfast that will surprise your family on Monday morning.
Instead of the usual chocolate chips, try pieces of Easter chocolate to add sweetness to your pancakes. Our top tip is to fry one side of your pancake, then add the chocolate pieces into the batter before flipping over. This way the chocolate is well distributed, instead of being lost in the pancake batter. Stack up your pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles for extra fun.
If you have an ice cream maker, you can use up leftover chocolate to create your own chocolate flavor. Either use it melted to create a chocolate swirl or add it in chunks to create texture. For an even more simple recipe, you can make a quick sauce for store-bought ice cream by melting chocolate with a little bit of milk.
This is probably the easiest way to use up any leftover chocolate or candy. Melt the chocolate and pour it onto a prepared tray that is lined with parchment paper. You are looking for a thin layer of chocolate. If you have milk, white, and dark chocolate, swirl them together. Then add any candies or crushed up chocolates into the melted chocolate. Let this set and then break it up into pieces.
Chocolate can be grated to make a very quick and simple garnish for any dessert. It’s easy to do but looks stunning and will impress your guests. Use a fine grater to create a dusting or use a peeler to create chocolate shavings for a more striking look.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our ideas for using up your leftover chocolate. What do your family do with their Easter treats? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!
In preparation for this coming Easter weekend, we decided to put together a list of Easter recipes for you to put together. Whether you’re celebrating with family, gathering a group of friends, or enjoying a quiet day to yourself, you’re sure to find some ideas that will make your day extra delicious.
Roasted Leg of Lamb
Of course, a roasted leg of lamb is a classic at Easter. We sometimes like to use a simple rub of lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. However, you can spice things up by using a marinade of harissa, a North African chili pepper paste that will add lots of flavor to your dish. Serve it with plenty of vegetables, but especially go for spring flavors like carrots, green beans, radishes, and beets. Try making your own gravy to accompany everything.
Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
A great accompaniment to roast lamb and a decadent treat for your table, scalloped potatoes do take some time to put together but they are well worth the effort. Use a mandolin slicer to speed up the process. We like to add a combination of creamy cheeses to make this extra special for our Easter recipes. Add Asiago, Mozzarella, and Raclette in slices between the potatoes for layers of melted goodness, and then grate Parmesan onto the top to create a cheesy crust.
Chocolate Nest Cakes
A firm family favorite and a dish that the kids can all get involved in making. Just be prepared to clean up a little mess afterward.
- Prepare a muffin tray lined with paper cake cups.
- Melt some of your favorite chocolate (of course, we recommend Heggy’s).
- Add in a cereal of your choice. Cornflakes or shredded wheat work really well. Ensure that the cereal is well coated in the chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cups.
- Top each nest with some mini chocolate eggs.
- Leave to set and then enjoy!
Asparagus and Cheese Tart
If you’re serving vegetarians this Easter, or simply want to add some lighter Easter recipes to your table, we love an asparagus and cheese tart.
- Take a sheet of puff pastry and score a border around 2 cm from the edge.
- In the middle, add slices of cheese. You can choose your favorite but you are looking for something that will melt well and have plenty of flavor. We recommend goats’ cheese or cheddar.
- Layer spears of asparagus on top and add freshly ground salt and pepper. You could also put freshly shelled peas on at this point for even more spring flavor.
- Bake in the oven until the pastry has become puffed up and golden. The asparagus should be nicely roasted and the cheese melting underneath.
- If you like, add arugula leaves on top.
This recipe can be served hot or cold, so it’s a good choice if you want to prepare it in advance or if you are heading to a pot luck dinner.
We hope you enjoy making these Easter recipes to share with your family this weekend. However you’re celebrating, we want to wish you a wonderful Easter.
The time of year for celebration is upon us again! With Easter coming up this weekend, we have put together a list of delicious Easter gifts that you can buy right here at Shisler’s Cheese House. Read on to find out all about our gift options and how to make this Easter extra special.
Our Easter gift baskets are perfect for sharing with loved ones. You can purchase them online or in store. We can even deliver them straight to your family and friends to make gift giving as easy as possible. Inside you will find Marble Cheese, Dried Fruit Chips, Yogurt Pretzels, Heggy’s Chocolates, Wild Maple Walnut Syrup, and Muddy Trail Mix.
We created this mix of treats to make sure that everyone will love our gift basket. There’s chocolate for those with a sweet tooth and marble cheese for savory lovers, with dried fruit and trail mix to keep your energy up after all of the Easter fun.
If you’re looking to give a chocolate gift, then you need to look no further than Heggy’s Solid Chocolate Bunnies. These are a real treat with 20 oz of chocolate. They are available in both milk and white chocolate, so you can pick one up for everyone in the family.
If you are looking for some more grown-up chocolate options, check out our whole chocolate section. You’ll find dozens of products that will cater to every taste. Grab some Brazilian coconut or chocolate truffles for those friends that always want to try something new. You could take some Heggy’s milk chocolate turtles into work and share some Easter joy with your colleagues, but they’re certainly popular with the children as well! We offer sugar-free treats for anyone with a restricted diet.
We also have a range of other gift baskets for every taste. Pick from a simple selection of cheeses all the way up to a huge selection of locally sourced delicious treats. If you have your own Easter gifts in mind, we can create a custom basket for you. Custom baskets can include anything currently available on the website. This is perfect if you know someone who would prefer cheese and pickles to chocolate, even at Easter. You could create a box full of dark chocolate treats or even pick our healthier options such as our sugar-free chocolates. Call us today for a quote!
If you are ordering online, please check our shipping policy to ensure that your gifts will reach you in time. If you can, pop into the store. We love to meet our customers face to face and help you find the perfect Easter gifts.
We want to wish all of you a fantastic Easter weekend. How will you be celebrating? Let us know in the comments!