How to Pair Cheese and… Chocolate?
Who doesn’t love cheese or chocolate? But together? Believe it or not, they’re actually the perfect combination for a tasting!
Cheese and chocolate are so different that the thought of pairing them seems difficult. The key to this type of tasting is keeping it simple. Both are super-rich foods and a little goes a long way. Choose quality over quantity and limit to three to five pairings.
The Art of Tasting
Learning how to taste cheese and chocolate will deepen your appreciation for the foods and makers. Start with your basic senses and expand from there. Be sure both are room temperature before tasting. Remove the cheeses from refrigerator at least 20-35 minutes before the tasters arrive to maximize flavors and aromas. Cold cheese does not release flavors and aromas as quickly and alters the taste.
Cheese: Some cheeses are intense in color while others are not. Look at the cheese rind. Is it uniform? Any cracks? Is the cheese dry like a walnut shell or moist like a sliced apple?
Chocolate: For chocolate, color depends on the origin of the beans. Quality chocolate will be shiny, glossy, and have clean edges. Look for bloom or grayish white steaks caused by poor temperature and improper storage.
Cheese: Is the cheese dense, compact or light? Is it smooth, grainy or crunchy? The higher the butter fat content, the creamier the mouth feel of the cheese will be.
Chocolate: Never chew chocolate. Chocolate should melt in your mouth. Good chocolate will feel silky and smooth. Subpar chocolate may feel grainy, waxy or greasy to the tongue.
Last, the finish..
Allow the cheese and chocolate to linger to fully appreciate the finale of the flavors. The finish is important as many of the early flavors may be masked by other ingredients.
Not all your cheese and chocolate pairings will be a success, but tasting is half the fun. Take your time and try different pairings. Host a cheese and chocolate event, and guide your friends on a delicious journey. Just remember, keep it simple.
Easter, the day in which Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday or the “highest feast” of the year. It has been called a movable feast because it does not fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the Western Rite celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the Vernal Equinox, that is, the first day of astronomical Spring. Because of this, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to determine on what date Easter will fall and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western Rite celebrates Easter as the Western Rite follows the Gregorian calendar.
Origins of Easter
The exact origins of the name “Easter” aren’t entirely known, although there is plenty of speculation on it. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. While other sources trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient Latin reference to Easter week and the white clothing worn by those baptized during that time frame. It wasn’t until a translation error, that the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually came to be known as Easter in present-day English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, meaning Passover. Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, the Jewish festival commemorating the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt from slavery. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.
In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.
While the Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short and bushy-tailed creature who hops on its hind legs to deliver decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday, the Easter bunny has become an iconic symbol of the Easter holiday. The exact origins of the Easter Bunny are, again, unclear, but rabbits, known to be procreators, are an ancient symbol of both fertility and new life, quite fitting for the meaning of this great holiday. According to some sources, the Easter bunny made its first appearance in America in the 1700s with German immigrants in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase. The children would make nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. This custom eventually made its way all the U.S. The Easter Bunny has been known deliver chocolates and other types of candy and gifts, while the original nests advanced into beautifully decorated baskets. As tradition has it, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his deliveries.
The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to symbolize Jesus’ resurrection, his emergence from the tomb. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back circa the 13th century, as source claim. One theory for the painting of eggs at Easter is that eggs were normally a food that was frowned upon during the Lenten season, therefore, people would decorate these eggs to signify the end of the period of penance and fasting and the beginning of the Easter celebration and new life.
Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular Easter traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another Easter candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter around the 1930s. According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter!
Other favorite Easter candies include: Chocolate Bunnies, Chocolate Crosses, Filled Chocolate Eggs and other Chocolate assortmentments.
Shisler’s Cheese House carries a wide assortment of foods to bring a taste of Easter to your home! Be sure to stop in and find out how we can help!
In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to around the mid-1800s, when the upper tier of society attended Easter services acrossvarious church along Fifth Avenue, then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action as time wore on. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century.
Today, the Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being closed to vehicular traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated Easter apparel. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. Today, other cities across America also have their own parades.
From Shisler’s Cheese House to your house, wishing you and your loved ones a safe, happy and blessed Easter!
On the Map…
Amish Country is comprised of several northern Ohio counties, its biggest population residing in Holmes County, which is where approximately half of Ohio’s Amish families reside; research indicates that Holmes County may be the first county in the nation where the majority of residents are Amish. Other neighboring counties having Amish communities are Wayne, Tuscarawas, and Coshocton Counties. Visitors to these regions may also note an Amish influence in Ashland and Knox Counties.
Why is Amish Country one of the most sought-after and visited places in the state of Ohio? The answer is simple, but for many reasons. Amish Country truly portrays the “blue collar, working class” style of life where nothing is taken for granted and every resource is used to culminate Earth’s natural products. Another reason to visit Amish Country is its sheer, flawless beauty, ever-changing with the seasons. It is a very beautiful country that gives us a glimpse of life before the infrastructure, transportation networks, airline networks, and other technologies of today. For those looking for a peaceful escape from the “hustle and bustle” of daily life, they will find it at the heart of Amish Country. Not to mention the Amish country Ohio cheese that is always delicious!
Some major Amish communities include…
- Walnut Creek
A Look Into The Past
The Amish lifestyle is a good reflection for us to look into our own past. This lifestyle provides us with a great opportunity to go back in time when technology and machines were not at the forefront and when life was slowed down which enabled us to take pride in the work our hands and minds could accomplish.
With the rush of new technology that has taken our world by storm in the last handful of decades, the Amish found ways to thrive through this mass technology movement and remain true to their ways of life, not letting these waves of technology and machines take away a person’s ability to work with their hands and reaping the fruits of their labor. The most iconic image of Amish Country is the “horse and buggy” as once you’ve seen this method of transportation, you’ll know you’re in a world where pride in handiwork far exceeds the capacities of technology, and that is a wonderful thing and a delightful change of pace in world otherwise dominated by technology and machines.
A Taste of Amish Country in Ohio…
Unless you’re from Amish Country or have taken trips to take in the life and culture of the Amish lifestyle, then you may not entirely have a solid understanding or appreciation of Amish folks and their lifestyle. As touched on earlier, Ohio has a number of counties with large populations of Amish households with the number continually growing. With Holmes, Wayne, and Hardin Counties leading the way in Amish populations, it is believed that in the next 4-5 years, Holmes County will have more Amish populations, than English (as they term “non-Amish” folk).
There are four orders of Amish lifestyle; each being entirely different from the other… the Swartzenruber Amish, the Andy Weaver Amish, the Old Older Amish, and the New Order Amish. It is the Old Older Amish that plays the traditional role of foregoing technology, instead using the former ways of hand and tireless work while using the horse and buggy for transportation.
There are two main religious sects that dominate the Amish lifestyle, Mennonite and Amish. With church districts made up of around two dozen families, Amish families continue to grow. Amish children are less likely to leave, but remain a part of their community or relocate to a neighboring Amish community. It is not uncommon for one farm to have multiple generations living and working on the same farmstead.
Large farms were once at the center of Amish life, but that has slowly been evolving in a different direction. With the growing number of Amish populations across the region, along with increasing land prices, purchasing farmland has become challenging. This has led to a change in societal development. In order to adapt to this change, smaller-sized farms are replacing large grain farms and are more common. Vegetable production produces enough for a number of families. Also allowing for these vegetables to be sold to the public as a means of additional income. These sales are usually done through auction sites now.
Although the Amish may disagree on certain issues, there are a number of things they do agree on. One of these ideas centers on a tireless work effort with their practices not having any influence on the modern world of advancing technologies. Essentially they stay true to their roots.
Amish farms continue to be the apex and heart of Amish Country. While the number of farms has not increased nearly to the extent that the Amish population has. Many families remain on the family farm by adding housing, as the children grow up.
In recent years, a movement from agriculture to more trade work has transpired. Research illustrates that around 17% of Amish men continue to work on farmland while the remainder work as skilled craftsmen. Hardin County remains the only county where a majority of the men continue to work on farmlands.
The Road To Amish Country Ohio Cheese…
The road to Amish Country was once a less traveled route. However, in recent years, this road has since become well-traveled and explored. On your way to Amish Country, be sure to stop by some iconic and very well-known stops. From The J.M. Smucker Company known for their iconic jams, jellies, and other delights to the Kidron Auction, Ohio’s oldest auction, since 1923 to Troyer’s Pantry, an Amish bakery, you can’t go wrong experiencing Amish tradition at any one of these stops.
As you’re heading to Amish Country, along the road to Amish country, be sure to stop by a small, family-owned store along US Route 30 in Orrville, Ohio, Shisler’s Cheese House.
Shisler’s Cheese House is a family-owned specialty store! We focus on traditional culinary treats ranging from a wide array of imported and domestic cheeses. Also, we provide meats, candies, cookies, and other delicious treats for an on-the-go meal or delicious snack.
Got your fill of cheese, meat, chocolates, and other decadent goodies? Let Shisler’s Cheese House be your one-stop shop for your ultimate “Road To Amish Country” experience!
You’re shopping at your local grocery store and it comes to that point when you’ve reached the checkout line and they always have those shelves above the cash register conveyor belt full of any chocolate bar you could possibly ever think of. These candy bars and chocolates were a staple and always brought tears of joy and excitement to kids and adults alike, as they passed through the grocery store aisles or at the checkout line. Needless to say, this was a great marketing ploy to grab the attention of kids and parents… right as you check out, don’t forget to grab some chocolate and candy for the road! I mean, how could you go wrong? Every one knows Baby Ruth, Hershey’s, Milky Way, M&Ms, etc… and the list goes on. Now, while these chocolates are enjoyed by millions across the nation and even across the world, they don’t come close to beating the handcrafted chocolate delicacy assortments of Ben Heggy’s Chocolates!
A Taste of Heaven…
Ben Heggy’s Handcrafted Chocolates and Candies have been a rich tradition featuring premium, handcrafted chocolates and candies across the United States for over 90 years and continues to be one of the premier companies in its industry. Since its opening in 1923, Heggy’s remains family-owned and operated. They continue their high levels of commitment to satisfaction, to the community, and their customers, alike.
It is truly a rare instance to see a company continue their handcrafted way with chocolates and candies given the vast improvements in computer-run machines and other means of technology. Heggy’s is one of the few that have never changed their ways of handcrafted superiority, as care, patience and dedication are all critical ingredients in Heggy’s one-of-a-kind, delicious taste.
Heggy’s has grown into much more than a household name in handcrafted chocolates and candies. They have revolutionized the industry across the board through decades of tireless work delivering product and superior customer service. Over the years, Heggy’s has built an incredible following of customers and lovers of chocolate and candy.
At Shisler’s Cheese House, we can bring the experience of Heggy’s Chocolates right to your doorstep. With a wide assortment of Heggy’s Chocolates, there is no reason to go anywhere else. Shisler’s Cheese House carries a wide selection of these premium, handcrafted chocolates ready for you! From dark chocolate to milk chocolate to white chocolate assortments, there is no selection that will disappoint you.
A Personal Recommendation…
I had the chance to taste some of Heggy’s Chocolates and my personal choice would be White Chocolate Pretzel Delights. Just looking at one will make your mouth water, but opening the wrapper and tasting this delight just puts you on “Cloud 9” in chocolate heaven. If I had to compare to another chocolate, it would be Hershey’s Cookies N’ Creme, but ohhh, so much better! Imagine Cookies N’ Creme being the appetizer and White Chocolate Pretzel Delights being the dessert! I’d much rather have dessert than an appetizer! But… don’t take my word for it, stop by and try some today!
Great For Any Occasion…
Heggy’s Chocolates can be used for any occasion: holidays, birthday parties, dinners, social events, picnics, reunions, etc… just to name a few. It does not have to be a special event, but Heggy’s Chocolates can make any ordinary event into a special one. Just be aware, you can’t stop after one… once you start, it’s tough to put these decadent, handcrafted chocolates down!
For our entire inventory of Heggy’s Chocolates, click here