What is blue cheese?
Blue Cheese is a generic term for cheeses that have had Penicillium cultures added creating dark blue or blue-grey veins throughout the cheese. It can be made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk and is typically aged in a temperature and moisture-controlled environment like a cave.
How was blue cheese discovered?
Blue Cheese is said to have been discovered by accident. Cheeses in Europe were aged in high moisture caves which are also an ideal environment to produce mold. Gorgonzola dates back to around 879 AD and Roquefort was invented in 1070. Subsequent Blue cheeses were invented to fill the demand for Roquefort like cheeses. We prefer Danish blue, as it is more moderate in its sharpness and more creamy.
What does it taste like?
The characteristic flavor of blue cheese is usually sharp and salty, but levels of sharpness vary by region. It can be eaten by itself or crumbled or melted over foods. We know that blue cheese can divide opinion, so we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you to appreciate it!
Serve it at the right temperature
The unique flavor of blue cheese is best appreciated at room temperature to allow the flavors and textures to be enhanced. This goes for most cheeses: they should not be served straight from the fridge if you want to truly enjoy them.
Serve it with the right drinks pairing
Blue cheeses are strong, rustic-flavored cheeses and go best with similarly strong, flavored foods and drinks, and with tannic red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, and even Port. For beer lovers, the cheese compliments porters and stouts perfectly. It also pairs very well with Scotch, which is why we offer it with our Scotch collection.
Serve it with the right foods
Just as blue cheese deserves strong flavors from drinks, it needs them from food too. One classic combination is cheese with fruit. Pears, figs, and apples all stand up well to the flavor as they each have a sweetness that cuts through the saltiness of the cheese. The earthy quality of mushrooms brings out the same flavors in the cheese and the crunch of celery will contrast with the creaminess of any blue cheese.
It’s just as important to consider texture as well as flavor. Find crunchy foods to pair with the soft texture of the cheese and you’ll find it really stands out.
If you’re not yet a blue cheese fan, start by trying small pieces as part of a cheeseboard. You’ll gradually be able to move up to crumbling a little into soup or over pasta. In no time you’ll be asking for it on pizza and enjoying it with a glass of port! Let it surprise you. Sometimes we think we might not like something but in the right combination it is our new favorite dish.
Do you think you could become a blue cheese lover? We really do recommend trying our Danish Blue – it’s converted many a customer in the past!
Let us know your favorite blue cheese pairings in the comments!
Yogurt Cheese is a lower calorie and lower fat alternatives to traditional dairy cheese. It is the creamy white cheese left over when liquid whey drains from the fresh yogurt. This is all natural and a great way to supplement your diet with calcium and protein, without adding fat. It’s low in sodium and lactose (milk sugar) but still tastes super creamy and rich!
We know that choosing healthy options is really important to many of our customers which is why we have chosen to shine the spotlight on our yogurt cheese today.
A range of flavors
Ways to eat it
- On a bagel
We love yogurt cheese spread onto a bagel instead of cream cheese. This is a great, healthy breakfast or lunch option even when you’re on the go. We especially love our flavoured cheeses. Jalapeno will give you a great spicy kick.
- With peanut butter
Yogurt cheese can be used to lengthen products that might have a high fat content. Mix 1 tablespoon of peanut butter with 1- 2 tablespoons of cheese. The yogurt cheese takes on the flavor of the peanut butter but has lower fat.
- With mayonnaise
Just as with peanut butter, this can be used to expand your mayonnaise as it will take on the flavor. Mix 1 tablespoon mayonnaise with 1- 2 tablespoons cheese, then eat it with salad or even chips.
- On a Baked Potato
Yogurt Cheese is delicious on a baked potato, especially our flavoured varieties. You can even mix it with sour cream, chives or herbs for a traditional flavor.
- As an alternative to whipped cream
Mix ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract into 2 tablespoons of yogurt cheese for a whipped cream alternative. Great served with berries or an apple tart.
- With Salmon
Yogurt Cheese makes a great accompaniment to fish instead of a fatty, creamy sauce.
- In a soup
Add protein to your soup without the calories by adding a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt cheese.
- As an alternative to frosting
Mix ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup cheese. This is great on cakes. Make sure that you chill it before spreading so that it does not melt on the cake.
- In pasta
A great way to make a creamy sauce for pasta that has plenty of flavor. Use our garlic and herb flavor and you won’t even need to add anything else. A quick, healthy dinner in minutes!
- As a chocolate mousse
Mix 1 packet of low-calorie chocolate drink mix with 1 cup of cheese. Chill in the fridge before serving.
Now you know everything you need to know about yogurt cheese! How will you try it? Let us know in the comments!
Barbecue season is upon us, so it’s time to prepare! We often find that at the beginning of the summer it’s a bit of a scramble to get everything you need together for a barbecue.
Let us help you out with our quick checklist.
This is the one thing you’re not likely to forget. Try to get the best quality meat that you can. If you haven’t tried making homemade burgers before, give it a go. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with burgers and hot dogs from the butcher. For something really special, grab some steaks. If you want to inject plenty of flavor, then chicken wings and thighs take on marinades really well.
It’s great to get some vegetables on your plate and this will mean you have something to serve vegetarian guests. Eggplant, zucchini and squash all cook well on the barbecue. Large mushrooms and tomatoes on the vine can work well too. You can always parcel up veggies in foil and then place them on the barbecue if they might slip through.
Hot dog and burger buns are essential for carrying all of that delicious meat. You might want to bake a quick loaf to serve with cheeses and salads, but no-one will turn down a store-bought sesame bun!
A simple green salad will go a long way as it can be eaten on the side or even in your burger. A caprese is a great salad for serving at barbecues as the flavors of tomato and mozzarella go so well together and will develop throughout the day. Whip up a potato salad and you’ve got a perfect selection to serve to your guests.
Don’t forget to add salad dressings to the table. We recommend letting your guests dress their own salad so that they can pick their favorite dressings and the leaves will stay crisp.
- The extras!
A barbecue is really made special because of all the extra touches.
Cheese is essential. The classics are a slice of Cheddar or American Cheese, but Blue Cheese and Swiss are also delicious melted onto burgers. You could also put cheese onto the barbecue. Halloumi is a particularly good option as it won’t melt and has a lovely, salty taste. Definitely stock up or even have a go at making your own.
Make sure you’re stocked up on sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and, of course, barbecue.
Beer is the classic, but there are plenty of refreshing summer drinks. Mix up a jug of something cool for designated drivers and pop a bottle of champagne in the fridge if it’s a special occasion.
Has this inspired you to get the grill going? Let us know in the comments!
Are you a cheese lover? Have you ever tried smoked cheese?
We stock a huge range here at Shisler’s Cheese House but we know that some customers don’t pick it up because they’re not sure about how it’s made or how to use it. That’s where this blog post comes in. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about smoked cheese and show you some great uses for it so that you can add this delicious treat to your table.
A huge range of smoked cheese
We currently offer Smoked Baby Swiss, Smoked Bacon Cheese, Smoked Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Smoked Habanero Cheddar, Smoked Horseradish Cheese, Smoked Hot Pepper Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Smoked Provolone, and Smoked Swiss Cheese.
That’s 10 smoked cheeses to choose from! We recommend that if you haven’t tried it before, start with a simple hard cheese such as the Smoked Cheddar or Smoked Gouda.
How is cheese smoked?
There are several ways to smoke cheese, but the main ones are the cold or hot smoke processes. The cold smoke method involves smoking chunks of cheese in a smoker for a few hours at a time with a tray of ice under the cheese. This allows the smoke to infuse into the cheese without it getting too hot and melting. Some smokers will keep the heat source separate to the cheese so that there is no need for the ice.
Smoked cheeses are usually aged for a brief period to allow the smokiness to mellow. The type of wood used will affect the flavor of the cheese. Common types of wood used include apple, oak, hickory, and chestnut. Our Smoked Cheddar is slowly smoked over a hickory fire to give it a deeply smoky flavor. So is our Smoked Horseradish Cheese which has a kick from the horseradish root and our Smoked Hot Pepper Cheese which is also really spicy. Our Smoked Mozzarella is smoked using both hickory and cherry wood smoke.
How should I eat smoked cheese?
There are so many ways to enjoy this but we are going to share just a few with you to give you inspiration today.
- On a cheeseboard
Add another dimension and extra flavor to your cheeseboard with smoked cheeses. They’re also great if you’re building a board around different textures of cheese. These are hard to semi-soft cheeses so you have a good range to choose from. Smoked cheese will surprise your guests if they haven’t tried it before!
- In a sandwich
Thin slices of smoked cheese alongside a good quality ham makes for a very special sandwich indeed. A sweet relish will offset the smokiness if you need some balance.
- On tacos
Grate some smoked cheese over your tacos for an authentic, smoky flavor.
- With fruit
Tart apples or white grapes are the perfect accompaniment to smoked cheese as the flavors marry really well.
We hope you learned something about smoked cheese today! Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments!
We all know that fresh pasta tastes so much better than any dried pasta. But how many of us have actually tried to make it at home?
It might seem daunting, but pasta really isn’t so hard to make. Today we’ll show you how to make it from scratch.
Recipe – Makes enough fresh pasta for 6 people
You will need:
6 large eggs
600g ‘00’ flour
Method – making the dough:
- Put the flour onto a board or in a bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into it.
- Beat the eggs with a fork until they are smooth.
- Using your hands, incorporate a little of the flour into the eggs at a time, until everything is mixed together.
- Combine the dough until you have one smooth lump.
- Knead the dough to develop the gluten. Stop when the pasta feels smooth and silky.
- Cover the dough fully and rest it in the fridge for at half an hour.
Method – rolling the dough:
You can simply use a rolling pin to roll pieces of the dough until they are lovely and thin.
If you have a pasta machine, the best thing to do is follow the instructions that it comes with as some have different mechanisms. In general, though, this will be your basic method.
- Dust your work surface with some ‘00’ flour. Take a handful of pasta dough, press it flat and roll it through your machine on the widest setting.
- Move the pasta machine down a setting and roll the dough through again.
- Fold the pasta in half. Repeat steps 1 and 2 five or six times, folding each time.
- Once the pasta is very smooth, roll it through all of the settings on the machine from widest down to narrowest.
- If you are making tagliatelle or lasagne, rolling it until it is just slightly thicker than a playing card. For stuffed pasta including ravioli and tortellini, make it thin enough that you can clearly see your hand through it.
- Cut or shape your pasta before it dries. Use a clean, damp cloth to stop it from drying out if you need to.
Shaping and cutting fresh pasta:
For lasagne or tagliatelle, you will simply need a sharp knife to cut the pasta to the desired shape. Your pasta machine may have attachments to cut the pasta. If you are shaping the pasta we recommend finding video instructions that will show you the quickest method. Get the family involved to get the pasta ready before it dries!
To cook your pasta:
- Add pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water.
- It will take 1 to 3 minutes, so watch the pot closely.
- Test the pasta to ensure that it is just slightly al dente before serving.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning how to make pasta from scratch. Do you have any tips for first-time pasta makers? Let us know in the comments!
Father’s Day is coming up on June 17th, so now is the time to grab a great gift.
We know that you will all want to show your Dads how much they mean to you. This is a special day to show them your appreciation for all that they do for you. Our range of gifts is the perfect thing for the man who has everything. You’re sure to find something that will appeal to every taste.
Our Gift Box for Dad contains Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring, Ohio Swiss Cheese, Pepper Jack Cheese, Shisler’s Private Label Mustard, Shisler’s Private Label Hot Pepper Relish, and Carr’s Crackers. It’s everything that your Dad could need for a perfect Father’s Day.
Pepper Jack is a cow’s milk cheese that has been given a spicy intensity through the use of jalapeno, serrano, and habanero peppers. Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring is a chunky, all-beef bologna with a smoky taste, created by the fourth generation of the Troyer family. Don’t be fooled by imitators.
You could add a bottle of wine, beer, or scotch if you want to impress Dad even more.
We also have a whole range of gift boxes for your Dad this Father’s Day.
Our cheese lover’s box is extra cheesy! You’ll receive a 3/4Lb. wheel each of Cheddar, Cojack (Marble), Farmer’s Cheese and Pepper Jack. Just like our other boxes, you’ll find some assorted chocolates as well.
For a showstopping gift, our Baby Swiss Cheese Gift Box is certain to create a stir. It contains a whole 4Lb. Baby Swiss Cheese Wheel. Our Baby Swiss is made in Charm Ohio, by the original producer Guggisberg Cheese. It is a young, semi-soft whole milk cheese with small holes and a mild flavor. It also comes with chocolates for those with a sweet tooth!
We also offer a Scotch Collection and Beer Collection for those Dads who like to pair cheese with their favorite drinks.
We can’t wait to get your Father’s Day gifts to you all and make it a great day for everyone. Please remember to check our shipping policy if you are ordering online to make sure that your gifts will arrive on time.
If you need some help to pick out a great gift, please get in touch or pop into the store to see how we can help.
It’s getting warmer and sunnier, so it’s time to think about summer drinks to brighten up your weekends!
We’ve put together a list of some of the best for you to enjoy.
It’s an absolute classic for the summer. Whilst we want robust reds when it’s cold outside, a lovely refreshing rosé in the sun is the perfect thing. We love a Pinot Noir based rosé because they’re packed with strawberry and cherry flavors.
Sangria hails from Spain and can be made with red wine or white wine. A traditional red wine sangria is made with bold red wine, orange juice, brandy or rum, sugar, ice and chopped fruit. It’s one of the best summer drinks to enjoy with tapas dishes. Make a large jug of it to keep all of your guests refreshed.
A mojito is one of the easiest summer drinks to make up ahead of a party. Muddle together lime juice, fresh mint, and sugar, before adding ice, white rum and a dash of soda water. You can add berries like raspberries or strawberries to create an even fruitier mojito. Mix up a punch bowl of this before an event and you won’t need to spend all evening mixing up drinks.
This is a cocktail to savor in the summer. It has bitterness from the Aperol and sweetness from Prosecco. If you haven’t had one of these before, mix one up this weekend! Mix equal parts of Aperol and Prosecco over ice. Top with a dash of soda water and add a slice of orange. In Venice, they even add an olive on a stick!
Sometimes you need to whip up something alcohol-free for your summer table. Iced tea ticks all the boxes with citrus flavors and sweetness. The simplest way to make it is to cool strong tea with some sugar and lemon slices, but you can add different fruits and herbs for different flavors. We love peaches, orange, or mint.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our suggestions for summer drinks. Which will you be making this summer? Let us know in the comments!
We absolutely love goat’s cheese here at Shisler’s Cheese House. We’re hoping that you will too and that’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 great ways to eat it.
We stock chevre goat’s cheese imported from France. This has a crumbly, cream cheese-like texture with a very creamy flavor. You’ll also get plenty of that goat’s cheese tang!
In a salad
This is how we often think of using goat’s cheese. It’s a classic for a reason! Crumble your cheese over salad leaves, roasted tomatoes and red peppers for a great combination. Add some pumpkin seeds for crunch and a balsamic vinegar dressing to bring everything together.
As a stuffing
Goat’s cheese works really well as a stuffing because it won’t melt too much and run out during cooking. Slice open a chicken breast and stuff it with the cheese, chopped tarragon, lemon zest and seasoning. Wrap the chicken in bacon or prosciutto and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 370F, until the juice runs clear.
It’s the simplest dish around but it’s still delicious! Spread some cheese on a piece of toast and dig in. You can even drizzle over some honey or spoon on some chopped fruit for a hint of sweetness.
The creaminess and acidity of a crumbly chevre make it a very good friend to fruit. Try it with roasted fruits like figs, cherries, apricots, or peaches. It also goes really well with apples and honey. You can pair them in a tart, as a simple snack, or in a sandwich.
Goat’s cheese works as a filling or a sauce for pasta dishes. Pair it with spinach, butternut squash or pine nuts. Stir it into a cream sauce with a little lemon zest to pack it full of flavor.
In a burger
There are a couple of ways to do this that will make your burgers pop. If you are making burgers from scratch, you can put a slice of goat’s cheese into the middle of the burger mix. Alternatively, add goat’s cheese on top of your burger whilst cooking or when you add it to your burger bun.
With a glass of wine
Goat’s cheese pairs really well with wine, but you’ll need to find one that stands up to strong flavors and the creaminess of the cheese. We recommend a Sauvignon Blanc, especially one from Sancerre if you can find it. The acidity of the wine will cut through all that creaminess and enhance the flavors of the cheese.
Do you like goat’s cheese? Which recipe would you try? Let us know in the comments!