Ask any cheese lover and he (or she) will tell you how Havarti cheese is one of the best cheeses from Denmark. This is a semi-firm, creamy cheese developed in and named after a farm. Havarti’s mild flavor is similar to the Gouda or Tilsit and it comes with a lot of irregularities and small holes.
Bite onto a cube of Havarti cheese and you will be surprised at the distinctive flavor that packs a subtle punch. You can find this variety of cheese as plain blocks and flavored with cumin, caraway, dill and other spices.
The credit for creating Havarti goes to the wife of a Danish farmer. She developed this cheese at the turn of the twentieth century after exploring the cheese making art, traveling to many parts of the world. Havarti cheese was a result of her experimentations with different cheese making methods.
Just like most cheeses, Havarti making process also starts with curdling of milk by introducing rennet to it. Curds are drained by pressing into cheese molds and the cheese is then aged. Subtle flavor of this cheese comes from the fact that it is washed rind.
Bite into the flexible Havarti cheese and you will also notice a buttery, creamy flavor. Color of this cheese can be anywhere between pale to creamy yellow. You can find a lot of holes on the cube. It is imperative to allow the cheese to age if you want to enjoy its delightfully subtle and acidic flavor.
Havarti pairs excellently with wine and is often served with crackers and fruits. Many use this cheese as a replacement for strong cheeses like Emmental and Gouda in recipes that require mild cheese. You can find Havarti predominantly used on salads, on sandwiches and in fondue. If you are slim and fit and can afford to bite into the full cream, melt-in-the-mouth cheese, you can choose the enriched Havarti cheese version. If you are on a strict diet, you can enjoy the low fat version of this cheese.
If you are planning on using enriched Havarti in any of your recipes, do so sparingly after ensuring that the dish has the capacity to handle the heavy flavor. Havarti cheese is indeed one of the best cheeses from Denmark. It is commonly found in many parts of the world today. Havarti’s low fat version is especially popular as it retains the very flavor, texture and essence of the enriched version. On the cheese and wine platters, you can find the herbed Havarti. If you wish for a pleasant tasting experience, you can pair your wines with enriched Havarti cheese.
Cheese curds are eaten as standalone foods by some. Small, solid chunks of cheese are produced as a part of the cheese making process. Cheese curds are separated from natural whey and pressed into molds to make cheese. Different types of cheeses are produced by treating curds in different ways. These curds can also be eaten straight. In the American Midwest, cheese curds are very popular, especially curds obtained during the process of making cheddar cheese.
The first step in making cheese is to curdle the milk using a combination of bacterial cultures, rennet and acid. You get cheese curds separated from whey as the milk solids coagulates during the curdling process.
Curds are then separated from the whey. To make the process of separation easier, the curds are cut into small pieces. Cheese curds are then packed into molds after adding salt which eventually turns into cheese. Rich, mature cheese is created by aging the finished cheese.
Some find cheese curds bizarre as they have a characteristic squeak when eaten. Eat them days after they are made and you will find them squeaking against your teeth. Squeak in them is due to the moist whey. As the cheese curds get older, the whey or moisture in them dry up and the squeakiness disappears.
Cheese curds are used in many different ways. Apart from eating them as it is, people deep fry them, serve them on appetizer platters or sprinkle them on top of foods. One of the reasons why cheese curds are not available in areas where there are no cheese manufacturers is the fact that they go bad very quickly. To enjoy optimum texture, flavor and squeak, cheese curds must be eaten within 12 hours.
You can store cheese curds by freezing them for up to six months. Even though they may crumble when thawed and may not be as fresh, they still taste great. Fried cheese curd is made using frozen curds.
There are many different varieties of cheese manufactured around the world including the soft cottage cheese and the hard cheeses like Pecorino and Parmesan. Interestingly, all of them are made from the squeaky, humble cheese curds.
Today you can also find a variety of different cheese curd flavors. Some of the popular flavors include Roasted Garlic, Chive, Hot Pepper, and spicy Buffalo Wing. These curds make for a friendly snack and are used by some to make poutine (Cheese curds melted over french fries with gravy) or to put on salads.
How do you like to enjoy your cheese curds?
If you love cheese, you must have tasted the fine aged cheddar. If the cheddar felt stronger and had a sharper flavor, you can be sure it was the Canadian aged cheddar. This vintage cheddar is extremely mature and strong. Special facilities are needed to make this cheese which has to be maintained carefully at a constant temperature.
Fine aged cheddar can be matured for up to 15 months. Canadian cheddar is matured for at least 4 years and come with a pungent, earthy and sharp flavor. This type of cheese comes with a firm texture. Those who enjoy crumbly cheese choose the farmhouse traditional cheddar.
Cheddaring refers to the process where curd is kneaded with salt after heating. It is then drained of the whey, cut into cubes and stacked and turned. Apart from fine aged cheddar, other types of cheddar cheese sold in shops include the orange cheddar, white cheddar and flavorful cheddars such as Horseradish cheddar, garlic cheddar, smoked cheddar, and bacon cheese.
Since the year 1170, cheddar cheese has been in production in England. There is a common belief that the recipe was brought into Britain by the Romans. It was only in the nineteenth century that cheddar cheese was standardized and modernized by Joseph Harding the Somerset dairyman. He is known as the father of Cheddar because he promoted dairy hygiene and used the latest technical developments to make fine cheese. He also propagated modern techniques for making a variety of cheddar cheese including the fine aged cheddar.
It was way back in 1864 that Joseph Harding described fine aged cheddar as mellow in quality and character, yet firm in texture. This cheese comes with a fine and full flavor and practically melts in your mouth.
Canadian fine aged cheese is today paired with wine by connoisseurs. Cheddar pairs well with wines such as Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel red wines. White wine lovers enjoy their cheddar with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. If you enjoy sophistication and wish to pair your Canadian fine aged cheese with wine, then you must choose the fine Port, Brandy or Madeira.
Alternately you can also pair your cheddar with Porter, Pale Ale and Stout. Enjoy fine aged cheddar with good Scotch. If you have a delicate palate, you can pair cheddar with cider or fruit beer. The combinations are limited only by your imagination and taste.
What do you think? Let us know your favorite uses or pairings for Canadian Cheddar in the box below.
Of all of the cheeses we provide, our locally made Swiss is by far the most popular. As of this writing, we sell an average of 2,000 pounds per week, and triple that during the holiday season. Here is a story about the early history of what we call “Swiss Cheese.” For additional information on locally Made Swiss Cheese, check out our earlier post entitled Swiss Cheese or “Swiss” Cheese? Or Making Cheese the Amish Way.
Swiss cheese is the favourite of many due to its rich, delicious, mouth watering taste. Every single slice of this cheese is visually stimulating and come with large holes. These unique holes are created by adding gram positive bacteria to the starter culture. The carbon dioxide bubbles created by bacteria give holes to Swiss cheese. The bacteria are also responsible for the sweet and nutty taste of this cheese.
Walk into any of the cheese stores in Australia, United States, New Zealand or Canada and ask for Swiss cheese and you will get exactly that. You cannot guarantee this anywhere else in the world. For example, if you wish to purchase this mild tasting cheese with holes in Europe, you must ask for Emmental cheese. Swiss just refers to the origin and is not its name.
Emmental or Swiss cheese was first manufactured in West Central region of Switzerland. This region is also known as the Emmental area. This area is ideal for pastures with its large rolling fields. Emmental’s pastures were used by local farmers for thousands of years for dairy cattle grazing. A part of the milk obtained from the cows was used to make cheese.
Very soon, cheese became synonymous with Emmental. This cheese’s incredible taste and unique appearance was popularized by a writer through his series of novels on the Emmental dairy and cheese industry.
According to history, it was as early as 1300 that the Swiss cheese started to be produced in Emmental. It was however only in the 1800s that the first ever cheese dairies came into existence here. This in turn made the cheese very popular even with people who did not live in this region.
Gradually many dairies were developed in Emmental which resulted in the production of cheese in large quantities. Swiss cheese was then marketed to other areas and eventually all over the world.
Today, Swiss cheese is available throughout the world but visit Emmental and taste the cheese and you cannot miss the extra local flavour. Dairy farmers in Emmental are extremely choosy about what they feed their cows as they realize that the diet affects the final flavour of the cheese.
Cows, when they can graze in summers, live only on herbs, especially natural herbs. They are never fed silage. No farmer in Emmental has more than twenty cows, which allow them to care for them in such a manner that they produce the best quality milk.
Smoked Gouda is special among all cheese produced in Holland. Though it is produced just like all other types of cheese in computerized dairy plants, this cheese is still smoked over smoldering hickory chip embers in brick ovens. For many, the best part of the cheese is the smoky, brown rind.
Gouda is produced from cow, goat, and sheep’s milk. Milk is obtained from cows that are purely grass fed, to make un-smoked or smoked Gouda. As the taste of Gouda cheese is mild, it is flavored with mustard, herbs, chipotles, nuts and spices like cumin and black pepper.
Smoked Gouda, with its unique taste, is ideal for many mouthwatering recipes.
Smoked Gouda and caramelized onion Quesadillas
These delicious Quesadillas are sure to impress your guests. You can pre-assemble Gouda, prosciutto and caramelized onions and bake the dish when you are ready to serve. To make this appetizing dish, you need the following:
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp golden brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 ounces of chopped prosciutto
- 4 flour tortillas measuring 10 inches in diameter
Preparation method –
Take a heavy medium skillet and melt two tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat. Add onion, vinegar and brown sugar and sauté for a while. When the onion turns golden brown, remove and cool to room temperature.
Set the oven to 350ºF and preheat it. Divide the tortillas equally and sprinkle cheese on one half. On top of the cheese, sprinkle sautéed onions and prosciutto and season with pepper. Over this cheese mixture, fold the other half of the tortilla. Brush the tortillas and a large skillet with melted butter and place over medium heat. Tortillas must be cooked carefully until you find the brown dots appearing on them. When they are done, transfer to a baking sheet and bake till the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden. When they are done, transfer the quesadillas to a working surface and cut them into six triangles before arranging and serving from a platter.
Other exciting recipes you can enjoy using smoked Gouda include smoked Gouda and Arugula pasta salad, grilled pumpernickel and Gouda sandwich, creamy spinach with smoked Gouda au gratin, pork chops stuffed with smoked bacon and smoked Gouda, spinach and mushroom frittata with smoked Gouda and smoked Gouda mashed potatoes.
Prepare any of these recipes using smoked Gouda for your family and you will find them asking for more.
What recipes do you think Smoked Gouda would add flavor to?
Wine Pairings with Cheese can be particularly challenging. One must select cheeses and wines that compliment each other perfectly without the flavors competing or overwhelming one another. So here is an alphabetical listing of 29 of the most popular cheeses in the United States and suggestions for wines that pair well with them. Keep in mind this list is not comprehensive. There are other wines that pair well with these cheeses. But these are the best matches in my humble opinion. This list should easily print to two pages so it can be used as a handy guide. Hopefully it will help you impress you friends at your next gathering. Click on any cheese to find more information and other pairing options.
Amish Butter Cheese – Chardonnay
Asiago Cheese – Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot. Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah (Shiraz)
Baby Swiss– Asti Spumanti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling/Champagne, Vidal Blanc
Bacon Cheese– Baco Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir
Brick Cheese– Baco Noir, Gamay Noir(Beaujolais), Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Zinfandel
Canadian Cheddar (Sharp) – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet/Merlot(Bordeaux), Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Syrah(Shiraz), Tempranillo, Zinfandel
New York Cheddar (Medium)– Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Gris,Pinot Noir
Colby Cheese– Chardonnay, Dry Champagne/Sparkling Wine, Gamay Noir(Beaujolais), Muscat, Riesling, Rose/Blush, Sauvignon Blanc
Danish Blue Cheese– Cabernet Franc, Cabernet/Merlot (Bordeaux), Cabernet Sauvignon, Desert Wines-(Icewine, Late Harvest Muscat, Riesling, Vidal Blanc, Viogniers), Maderia, Port-Tawney, Sherry
Farmer’s Cheese– Chardonnay, Gamay Noir(Beaujolais), Muscat, Pinot Noir, Reisling, Rose/Blush
Goat Cheese – Beaujolais, Chablis, Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempanillo
Gouda– Beaujolais, Champagne/Sparkling Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
Gruyere– Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah (Shiraz), Sauvignon Blanc
Havarti Cheese – Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel
Havarti with Caraway – Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel
Havarti with Dill– Cabernet Franc, Cabernet/Merlot (Bordeaux), Rioja, Tannat, Tempranillo
Horseradish Cheese– Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir
Marble Cheese– Baco Noir, Cabernet/Merlot(Bordeaux), Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Rose/Blush
Mozzarella– Beaujolais, Chianti
Muenster– Baco Noir, Gamay Noir(Beaujolais), Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Zinfandel
Parmesan– Baco Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet/Merlot(Bordeaux),Grenache,Sherry, Syrah (Shiraz), Zinfandel
Provolone – Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Chianti, Syrah (Shiraz)
Pepper Jack Cheese– Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc
Raclette – Fendant, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Savoie
Romano (Pecorino) – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Zinfandel
Sharp Swiss– Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Gerwurztraminer, Grenache, Merlot, Muscat, Riesling, Vidal Blanc
Swiss Cheese – Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
Smoked Cheddar– Cabernet Franc,Cabernet/Merlot(Bordeaux), Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Syrah(Shiraz), Tempranillo, Zinfandel
Smoked Gouda – Chateauneuf-du-papa, Chianti, Garnacha, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah(Shiraz), Tempranillo
Most of the suggested wines should be available at your local wine and spirit store. Please feel free to give feedback on this list or additional wine pairing suggestions.
In this day and age, good customer service can kill your business. That is because outstanding customer service has become an expectation, especially for small business owners. Outstanding customer service is the best way to stand out from your big competitors.
Today I saw the negative impact of mediocre customer service habits first-hand. I took a water sample to a local pool store to have it tested and get some advice on what chemicals I needed to add. The clerk looked to be about High School age, and was sufficiently professional and pleasant when I asked for help. She computer tested the water and printed a report. She advised me that my pool water needed to be stabilized, and the report suggested I add eight pounds of stabilizer to my pool water. I immediately questioned this, because I own a small pool and thought that sounded excessive. But she assured me that the computer had taken the pool size into consideration when analyzing the water. So I purchased the stabilizer as she had recommended. Such a large amount cost nearly $30. She also provided me with a copy of the water sample test results.
When I got to the car, I glanced over the test results and noticed that the test results had in fact suggest adding 8 OUNCES of stabilizer, not 8 pounds as the clerk had said. I re-entered the store and waited for her to finish with another customer, then explained that she had made a mistake and showed her the test results. She apologized profusely, but I told her it was fine. We all make mistakes.
She then proceeded to explain that it was their store policy to only give store credit for returns, and that she could not give me cash back. I only have a small pool and do not make many purchases at this store, so I was not pleased with the idea of store credit, especially for an amount I would most likely not spend there by the end of the season. So I politely asked her to make an exception, especially considering it was her error that that caused me to purchase more than I needed, and the transaction had taken place less than 10 minutes prior. She said she could call her boss and ask him to make an exception, but he was normally very strict on this policy and would most likely refuse. So I asked her to call her boss.
By this time she had clearly become angry. Her body language had changed and she had begun to raise her voice toward me. It took her two calls to reach her boss. I assume he instructed her to make the exception and return my money, because she did just that. But she would not look at me or say a word. She obviously felt I had done something wrong to her.
In the end, I was satisfied and got what I wanted. I felt no disdain for the clerk for making a minor mistake. But the way she responded to her mistake caused the experience to become rather unpleasant. While the business owner did the right thing, I left there having made the decision that I would drive a few extra miles to the next pool store in the future. I would find it very awkward to do business with that clerk again. I also drove straight to my own store and recounted the experience to three of my employees and explained why that would be completely unacceptable in our store.
This is why at Shisler’s, our employees are trained to provide nothing less than outstanding service. Whether you choose to do business at our brick and mortar or online store, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Beyond insisting that our employees provide outstanding service, we do our best to provide a pleasant work environment for them, in which those service habits develop naturally. If you ever receive anything less than outstanding service, please give us the opportunity to correct the situation and let me or a member of our senior staff know.
We appreciate your business. “Without you the customer, we would not exist.”