We wanted to wish all of our customers, both near and far, a very Merry Christmas!
To celebrate the season we wanted to share some fun Christmas facts with you.
Scientists have calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, traveling at 650 miles a second. We hope that your Christmas is a little more relaxing and that whether you’re staying at home or traveling to see loved ones, you can take the holidays at a slightly slower pace.
According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir. It was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington. We’re not sure just how many presents you would need to make that tree look full of holiday cheer!
The first Christmas celebrated on American land was in 1539 in Tallahassee, Florida. It consisted of a religious mass, with no presents or feasting. However, there was a time when Christmas was outlawed. Christmas was not proclaimed a holiday by the United States Congress until 1870 and Oklahoma was the last state to declare it a legal holiday in 1907.
Americans purchase 1.6 billion Christmas cards every year. Hopefully, this helps put your Christmas card writing into perspective. For some, it might be a boring task, but at least you don’t have to write all 1.6 billion of them!
However you are celebrating, we hope that it is a wonderful day for you all.
Happy Christmas everyone!
We know that it’s a busy time of year for all of you, so we have put together a list of last minute Christmas gifts that could help you save time and get everything under the tree before the big day!
Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Gift Certificates
This is the perfect gift for someone you are struggling to buy for. Our gift certificates are valid for one year and can be used all at once or in multiple transactions. They can spend it on their favorite cheeses and treats. You’ll be provided with a code immediately after checkout, so this is a great last minute Christmas gift if you’ve left it until Christmas Eve! You could even email the code over if it is for someone that you won’t actually be seeing over the holidays.
There are also lots of other websites that provide gift certificates via email should you need something quick and easy to give. Choose different stores for different members of your family and no-one needs to know that it was a rush to buy them!
Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Hampers
We have an incredible selection of gift boxes and have added some extra special new ones this year so that you can really show your love and appreciation during the holidays. Treat someone really special to the Deluxe Gift Box, which includes cheeses, chocolates, snacks, and even a Shisler’s Cheese House t-shirt!
For wine lovers, take home our Red Wine or White Wine Collection. These specially selected boxes of cheese have been chosen to complement the flavors of the wine. They will make for a fun addition to any holiday parties and will certainly make any cheese-loving friends happy too.
We can even help you to put together a hamper of specially chosen gifts if you have more time and want to select items that you know your friends and family will love. You could even pick up some treats from us and combine them with other gift items such as cosmetics to create a unique gift.
Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Chocolate!
You really cannot go wrong with the gift of chocolate over the holidays. Whether it’s Heggy’s Milk Chocolate Turtles for the kids or Brazilian Chocolate Truffles for the grown-ups, you’ll find something for everyone on your list. We like to keep a few boxes of chocolates on hand for those unexpected guests so that you’re never caught without a gift to reciprocate with.
Unless you are buying a gift certificate, you will need to pop into our store in person to secure these last minute gifts. We’ll be happy to help you pick out everything that you need and you’ll be able to complete your Christmas shopping in no time.
We hope that this list has helped you to approach those last minute Christmas gifts without any stress. Pop in to see us at Shisler’s Cheese House today and find everything you need.
Have you done all of your Christmas shopping? Let us know in the comments!
With the festive season upon us and many parties ahead, we wanted to share some of our tips for serving wine. Read on to make your soirees go smoothly without any hiccups!
Serving Wine: How to Choose Your Glassware
In general, a red wine will be served from a larger glass than white wine as this gives it room to breathe and allows you to fully experience the scent and flavor. Some people will choose to use crystal glassware. This is because crystal is much stronger than glass and can, therefore, be spun into thinner glassware, which makes for a better drinking experience.
You will usually serve sparkling wine from a tulip-shaped glass or flute. If you want to really enjoy the taste and aroma then a tulip glass or a narrow-mouthed white wine glass will give excellent fizz. For dessert wines or fortified wines such as Port, you can prevent the evaporation of the high alcohol wines by drinking them from a small glass with a narrow mouth.
Serving Wine: How to Choose the Best Temperature
As a general rule, lighter wines should be served at a cooler temperature as this brings out acidity and freshness. Higher temperatures unlock the aroma of the wine and can reduce any bitterness.
How to Open a Bottle of Wine
Use a knife to remove the foil around the bottle. Place the corkscrew in the centre of the cork and twist it into it. Corkscrews usually have a ‘step’ in them. Use the first step to pull the cork halfway out, then move to the second step to pull it fully out of the bottle. If you are using a corkscrew with arms then simply push the arms inwards to lift the cork out and then pull it out the rest of the way. Use a smooth motion and be careful not to bend the cork as it may snap!
To open a sparkling wine, remove the foil and take off the wire cage around the cork. To do this, pull out the wire circle and then twist it to loosen the cage before lifting it off the bottle. Put a towel over the top of the bottle in case the cork is pushed out by the pressure. Grip the cork and turn the bottle, rather than turning the cork itself. You should hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle to allow air in. The cork will loosen and start to ease out of the bottle, eventually popping.
Of course, if your bottle has a screw top then you simply open your wine and pour!
We hope that these tips will help you to serve wine without any stress so that you can simply enjoy having fun with your family and friends.
With Christmas fast approaching, we have put together a great selection of Christmas wines for you to serve over the festive period.
Christmas wines with turkey
If you’re serving a traditional turkey and all the trimmings this year, then you’ll want a wine that complements each of the flavors without being overpowering. Luckily, turkey is versatile enough that you can serve a variety of wines with it depending on your personal tastes. A full-bodied, oaky white wine such as a Chardonnay or a White Burgundy can be a good choice. For red wine, a Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir is a great choice. You’re looking for something that doesn’t have too much tannin, but that has a little acidity to cut through the richness of the meal.
Christmas wines with dessert
Whatever you choose to eat for dessert over the holidays, you’ll need a wine that can stand up to sweetness in abundance. Try a Muscat for lighter, fruity desserts or a Sauternes for richer flavors including chocolate. A port is a great after-dinner wine and excellent if you are serving a cheeseboard instead of a sweet dessert.
Sparkling Christmas wines
For some, it really isn’t Christmas until you’ve heard the pop of a cork and the sparkle of fizz in your glass. Whilst champagne might be the first option that comes to mind, there are lots of wines to explore if you are looking for some fizz for your Christmas table. If you want to splash out, then you could go ahead and pick up a French champagne, but you can also find fantastic Blanc de Blancs made right here in the United States. If you prefer something a little sweeter, try Prosecco, which has the added benefit of being more budget friendly.
Serving at the right temperature
One of the best ways to ensure that all of your wine pairings work well is to make sure that you serve the wines at the correct temperature. Light red wines such as those above should be served at room temperature, whilst a full-bodied white wine only needs chilling for 1 – 2 hours before serving. Sparkling wines can be served slightly cooler.
Remember that your Christmas table is a celebration of everything you love, so choose wines that you know that you will enjoy. If you can, ask to try them in store before you buy. There’s no need to splash out on something that you’re not sure about just because it’s Christmas if there is a wine that you always love to serve.
Which Christmas wines do you love? Let us know in the comments!
Today we continue our profiles of cheeses with a look at a Danish treat: Havarti cheese.
What is Havarti Cheese?
Havarti Cheese or Cream Havarti (Fløde Havarti in Danish) is a semi-soft Danish cow’s milk cheese. It is rindless, with a smooth surface and a cream or yellow color depending on the type. It has very small and irregular eyes (holes).
It has a buttery aroma and a generally sweet taste with a slightly acidic tang. It can be sharp in the stronger varieties, resembling Swiss cheese.
We also stock Havarti with Dill and Havarti with Caraway for those looking for additional flavor. Dill combines the flavors of fennel, anise, and celery, with a slight bitterness, whilst caraway has a very pungent, earthy anise flavor.
How is Havarti Cheese made?
Havarti cheese was initially created by Hanne Nielsen who operated an experimental farm called Havarthigaard, in Øverød, north of Copenhagen, in the mid-19th century. It is made like most cheeses, by introducing rennet to milk to cause curdling. The curds are pressed into cheese molds which are drained, and then the cheese is aged. Havarti is a washed curd cheese, which contributes to the subtle flavor of the cheese.
It will usually be aged for around three months. As it ages it becomes saltier and nuttier.
How should I eat it?
Havarti is a table cheese that is suitable for slicing, grilling, or melting. When left at room temperature the cheese tends to soften quickly so it is great on a cheeseboard alongside hard cheeses.
It is delicious melted into pasta dishes including macaroni cheese or incorporated into a grilled cheese sandwich. Havarti even works well when grated onto a pizza with mozzarella. You can make an excellent cheese sauce with it that will pair well with grilled chicken and vegetables.
Because of its creaminess, it stands up well to spice. You can use it in recipes that call for chilies and it also pairs very well with the heat of horseradish. Try Havarti with Dill in cauliflower dishes for a fun combination of tastes.
If you are serving it as part of a cheeseboard, slice a few thin slices off the block to show your guests that this is a fantastic way to enjoy it. Serve it with fresh fruits and honey, as well as savory crackers and cured meats. Try our Streb Meats Fresh Smoked Sausage as a starting point.
What should I drink with this cheese?
The smooth, creamy flavor of Havarti goes well against most red wines. It can stand up to the high alcohol flavors of Zinfandel or Shiraz, but it is subtle enough to enjoy with a soft Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you prefer white wine, try a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling, as the fruity flavors of both will complement the butteriness of the cheese. You could even try it with a light weiss beer or saison.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our exploration of Havarti cheese today. How do you like to enjoy it? Let us know in the comments!
We love to help you celebrate Christmas here at Shisler’s Cheese House! We’ve got some great gifts this year to help you show your loved ones how much you care.
Earlier this week, we shared our new Deluxe Gift Box, which has everything you could wish for over the holiday season.
If you need a small gift or something to keep in stock for those unexpected guests that drop in, then our Gift Mug with Heggy’s Chocolate is a great choice. We absolutely love these chocolates as they are simply the highest quality. They’re inside a mug that will remind you of us when you’re sipping your morning coffee.
For those who are difficult to buy for, we created the Cheez-E-Gift Certificate. You’ll be provided with a code immediately after checkout, so they’re perfect for last minute gifts or those moments where you didn’t realize you would have guests! They can also be mailed to you if you would prefer to have something physical to give to your loved ones in person. Gift certificates can be spent across our full range in multiple transactions so that the recipient can enjoy a year’s worth of trying different cheeses or splurge in one go on all their favorite chocolates and gourmet snacks.
Our full range of gift boxes offers everything from a selection of cheeses to a box for those who love chilies and spice. There’s something for your sweet-toothed friend and your uncle who loves Scotch. Check out the full range and get shopping today!
Please do check our shipping policy to make sure that any order will be shipped to you in time for Christmas and avoid any disappointment. Remember, you can always visit us in store for help and advice with your gift shopping in the run up to the holidays.
It contains more of our favorite Amish products than ever:
- Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring 1 Lb.
- Shisler’s Gift Mug with 1/2 Pound of Heggy’s Chocolates
- Shisler’s Private Label Apple Butter
- Shisler’s Private Label Hot Mustard
- Wheel of Colby 3/4 Lb.
- Wheel of Cojack (Marble) 3/4 Lb.
- Block of Swiss Cheese
- Baby Swiss Cheese Wedge
- Summer Sausage Link
- Muffin mix
- Shisler’s Cheese House T-Shirt
The Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring is a chunky, all-beef bologna with a smoky taste, created by the fourth generation of the Troyer family.
Our gift mug is a new edition to the range so that lovers of Shisler’s Cheese House can share their pride as they drink their morning coffee. We’ve filled it with 1/2 a pound of Heggy’s Chocolates. We are super proud to include Heggy’s Chocolates in our boxes. They match our tradition of excellence in hand-crafted chocolates.
Shisler’s Private Label Apple Butter is made from the best locally grown Apples and locally produced Amish Butter, perfect for spreading on toast or stirring into your recipes. We also love our Private Label Mustard, which can be used as a dipping mustard or spread into sandwiches.
Colby cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese native to the United States. It is very mild and creamy. It goes through a washed-curd process, rather than a traditional Cheddar process, making it slightly softer. It is an excellent table cheese and works well in salads because of its mild taste.
Cojack cheese is a blend of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese, marbled together to create a striking effect. Monterey Jack is a buttery, semi-firm cheese which originated in California. It is usually only aged for around a month, making it a fresh, fairly soft cheese to enjoy.
Swiss Cheese is a holey, semi-hard cheese with a creamy color. It has a nutty, slightly piquant flavor whilst simultaneously being somewhat creamy. It’s delicious in a sandwich or served cut into cubes alongside salads and hams. It works well with most meats and is particularly good with a beef burger.
You’ll also get a wedge of Baby Swiss Cheese, which substitutes water for the milk’s whey to slow the bacterial action. This creates smaller holes and a milder flavor. With all of this cheese, we’ve given you crackers so that you have something to enjoy it with!
Summer Sausage can be kept without refrigeration, which is how it gained its name. Ours is smoked, rather than dried, with a tangy taste. It’s certainly too good to be kept for only the Summer season.
We know this is going to make an amazing gift for some of your loved ones during the holiday season. Snap one up today!