We continue our explanations of the world’s cheeses today with a look at delicious mozzarella. Whilst you probably eat this cheese fairly regularly, you might not know how it is made. Read on to find out all about the process as well as some creative ideas for using it in dishes at home.
What is Mozzarella Cheese?
Mozzarella is a semi-soft cheese. Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day after it is made, but can be kept in brine for up to a week or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages.
Derived from the Neapolitan dialect spoken in Campania, mozzarella is the diminutive form of mozza (“cut”) or mozzare (“to cut off”) derived from the method of working. The term is first mentioned in 1570, cited in a cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, reading “milk cream, fresh butter, ricotta cheese, fresh Mozzarella, and milk”.
How is it made?
Citric acid and milk are combined and then heated until the mixture is ready to have rennet added. At this point, the curds and whey will have separated and the curds will be cut. They are the removed, stretched and kneaded until the become the cheese that we recognize.
If you want to have a go at making this quick and simple cheese at home, we do have a recipe on the blog. It takes just 30 minutes!
How should I eat Mozzarella Cheese?
Of course, we have to start by recommending pizza. If you’ve never made it at home then give it a go. Pizza dough is really easy to make and if you get yourself a pizza stone you will be able to enjoy the crispy base you love without even leaving the house. Only use little mozzarella, to stop the dough from becoming soggy, and add your favorite toppings.
It is delicious in a Caprese salad with tomatoes. Simply layer slices of mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaves. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
For a slight twist, try a fruity salad instead. It pairs well with figs, oranges, or even peaches as the creaminess of the cheese sits with the acidity of the fruit. Complement the sweet salad with the saltiness of ham or bacon and you’re sure to impress.
Put a small piece of mozzarella into the center of homemade burger patties and it will melt perfectly, creating a cheesy sauce as you cut into the burger.
We also offer a Smoked Mozzarella, which undergoes a steady treatment of hickory and cherry wood-smoke. The natural smokey flavor of this delightful cheese is great in casseroles, on sandwiches, or alone with a handful of crackers.
What should I drink with it?
The ideal wine pairing is a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. However, a rose wine such as a White Zinfandel or even a light red such as Beaujolais could also work well. If in doubt, choose an Italian wine to complement this Italian cheese.
How do you like to enjoy Mozzarella Cheese? Let us know in the comments below!
Did you know that seeds are incredibly good for you?
Seeds contain high levels of essential fatty acids as well as lots of vitamins and minerals that can help to keep us healthy. Because they are so nutrient-rich, you don’t need to eat a lot each day to get the health benefits of them. A tablespoon a day is more than enough.
Seeds: On Cereal
Start your day with a spoonful of seeds sprinkled on top of your usual cereal. Even better, you could have seeds as part of a bowl of granola or muesli. You can easily make your own granola by choosing a selection of oats, nuts, and seeds and gently roasting them in the oven. Drizzle them with honey or maple syrup if you like them to be slightly sweet, or mix in a selection of dried fruit before storing the granola away.
Yogurt can be a great healthy snack if you choose one that is low in sugar and fat. It is full of protein and when sprinkled with seeds will give you the energy to take you right through the day. If you find yourself experiencing a mid-afternoon moment of tiredness then why not pack a pot of yogurt and a small tub of them to enjoy wherever you happen to be?
Next time you whip up a quick stir fry of your favorite meats and vegetables, add a spoonful towards the end of cooking. Not only will they add a crunchy texture, but they’ll toast beautifully and add plenty of nutty flavor to your dish. Just be careful not to burn them.
Of course, salads had to be on this list. You always want to be adding texture and protein to your salad and seeds are a quick and easy way to do this. If you are often making a quick lunch at the office, keep a pot of them at your desk or in your car so that you can quickly add them without any fuss.
Instead of a swirl of cream, try a smattering of seeds! They’re better for you and add both texture and flavor to your dish. Even if you haven’t made the soup from scratch yourself, you can make it seem like a put together meal.
This is another option that you can make yourself with all of your favorite ingredients, but if you need a quick and easy option then our diet trail mix contains nuts, seeds, and fruits to give you a boost of energy.
We hope that these handy tips will help you to get some of those essential fatty acids and vitamins into your day to day meals. How do you like to eat seeds? Let us know in the comments!
You know that we love to help you get to know all of the cheeses that we have on offer. If you always pick up Swiss Cheese then you might not have tried Lacy Swiss, thinking that it’s just a variation. However, it’s a great alternative and a really delicious way to eat cheese with a lower fat and sodium content.
What is Lacy Swiss Cheese?
Lacy Swiss was invented by Alpine Lace Brands in 1985 in response to the growing need for healthier alternatives. This cheese is closely related to Swiss cheese, but the whole milk used to produce swiss cheese is replaced with low fat milk to provide a healthier alternative with a lower fat content. It gets its name from the lacy appearance of the slices, which usually have a creamy, ivory color to them. It has a delightfully light and nutty flavor. If you follow a lactose-free diet, then this cheese is naturally free of lactose.
How should I eat Lacy Swiss Cheese?
It’s a great table cheese but it is also delicious on deli sandwiches or to top off hamburgers and patty melts. It’s rather light and delicate, so if you’re looking to add a true Swiss flavor to a recipe, our sharper imported varieties like Jarlsberg or Gruyere may be better choices.
It melts very well, so it is a good option to use in quiches or pasta dishes when you want to add creaminess without too much fat. We also love it paired with dried fruits and nuts, so it’s a great addition to any cheeseboard, especially if you want to offer a healthier option. Try it with slices of apple or pear for a refreshing afternoon snack.
What is Lacy Baby Swiss?
We also stock Lacy Baby Swiss. This is another of our local selections. Lacy Baby Swiss is a young, semi-soft cheese distinguishable by its myriad of small holes. Baby Swiss is made by substituting water for the milk’s whey to slow bacterial action compared to a traditional Swiss Cheese. The Lacy version has smaller holes and a milder flavor, as well as the lower fat and sodium content found in Lacy Swiss.
What should I drink with it?
Due to their mild flavor, these cheeses very well with numerous wines. The most popular pairings are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. but Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are also great matches. If you are a white wine lover, then Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc would all be good choices. Lacy Swiss even goes well with Lager, Pale Ale, and Weiss Beer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of these healthy cheeses. Perhaps you could by a few different Swiss types of cheese and compare them to see which is your favorite. We even offer a Smoked Swiss Cheese if you like a smokey taste on your cheeseboard. Pop into the store if you’re nearby and we’ll help you to choose a great selection.
How do you like to enjoy Lacy Swiss cheese? Let us know in the comments!
Today we’ve put together a selection of brilliant baking ideas for you to try out with Heggy’s Butterscotch Caramels.
Shisler’s Cheese House has been in existence for over fifty years and we spent thirty of them trying to get local distribution rights for Heggy’s Chocolates. They are one of the few candy companies that match our tradition of excellence, and because of that they have always had a strict distribution strategy. We had to wait until a local competitor retired to get the distribution rights in our area and in the ten-year partnership we have built, we have become their second largest distributor. Now we are, of course, aiming for number one. We absolutely love their quality candies and we know that you will too.
Butterscotch Caramels: Cookies
We like to make a simple oatmeal cookie dough and then pop a butterscotch caramel in the middle of each cookie before they go into the oven. This allows the caramels to melt and create an incredible flavor along with a chewy texture that it sure to have you going back for more. You can even add broken up pretzel pieces for extra crunch and a fabulous sweet and salty contrast.
If you want to make something really visually impressive, make a simple cookie dough and cut out your chosen shape. Place the cookies on baking paper and cut out a shape from the middle of the cookie. Put a caramel in the hole and bake the cookies. The caramel will melt and create a window!
Butterscotch Caramels: Blondies
You might love brownies, but do you ever make blondies? Blondies have less cocoa than a brownie and instead focus on brown sugar to create a fudgey baked treat. We like to push butterscotch caramels into the pan before baking so that they create pockets of caramel for you to find in the blondies.
Butterscotch Caramels as a sauce
Melting down butterscotch caramels is a quick and easy way to make a delicious butterscotch sauce when you don’t have time to make one from scratch. This is a great way to create a quick and simple dessert. Simply drizzle over ice cream, fresh fruit, or even cake for a perfect caramel finish.
Of course, you can still always enjoy your butterscotch caramels straight from the wrapper. We certainly won’t judge you for it; they are delicious! How do you like to eat them? Let us know in the comments!
On Sunday 17th March, people around the world will celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Today we thought we would tell you a little more about the history and traditions of the day.
What is St Patrick’s Day?
It is a cultural and religious celebration held on the death day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Who was St Patrick?
He was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century and kidnapped at the age of 16 when he was taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but later in order to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461 AD, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools across the country. He also wrote that he “baptized thousands of people”.
There are many legends surrounding St Patrick. Probably one of the most famous is his use of the shamrock to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. The shamrock subsequently became a symbol for St Patrick’s Day and for Ireland as a whole.
Another legend tells that he banished all of the snakes from Ireland, after they tried to attack him as he undertook a 40-day fast on top of a hill. Some say that the snakes are a metaphor for the druids, who St Patrick drove out by teaching Christianity.
How is St Patrick’s Day celebrated?
It is officially a public holiday in Ireland. Historically, the Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol were lifted for St Patrick’s Day, making it a time of celebration. That has continued today with drinking and revelry forming part of the celebrations in many different areas around the world. There are often parades and festivals with traditional Irish music and many people will wear green or adorn themselves with a shamrock.
The custom of ‘drowning the shamrock’ was popular in the past, with a shamrock being placed in a glass and covered with whiskey, beer or cider. The shamrock was then either drunk with the rest of the drink or tossed over the shoulder for good luck.
In England, the British Royals traditionally present bowls of shamrock to members of the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army. This is currently done by the Duchess of Cambridge. The city of Liverpool has the highest proportion of residents with Irish ancestry in England and they celebrate with a parade as well as musical and cultural events.
Around the world, parades are held in Moscow, Sarajevo, and Tokyo, amongst other cities. The Caribbean island of Montserrat and the Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador both join Ireland in taking a public holiday.
Are there traditional foods to eat?
Soda bread, a yeast-free bread that is very simple to make, is a traditional Irish food and is a good accompaniment to a main meal of roast lamb and potatoes. You could also enjoy a traditional Irish stew. For dessert, baking with chocolate and Guinness is a fun way to celebrate Irish flavors.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of St Patrick’s Day. How will you be celebrating? Let us know in the comments!
Today we will tell you everything you need to know about Farmer’s Cheese.
What is Farmer’s Cheese?
This is a mild, unripened white cheese made by adding rennet to cow’s milk. It can also be made with other types of milk, but we sell the version made with cow’s milk. When the milk coagulates it separates into solid curds and liquid whey. They whey is then drained off, leaving behind the soft curds. The result at this stage is sometimes referred to as pot cheese. This is creamy and spreadable, with a similar consistency to ricotta cheese. Further pressing out of the moisture results in a more firm and crumbly Farmer’s Cheese. It is also known for having fewer calories, and being lower in fat and cholesterol, than many other kinds of cheese.
If you would like to have a go at cheese making at home, you may find that Farmer’s Cheese is a simple place to start. Of course, you can simply order from us and enjoy the cheese without the work!
How should I eat it?
Farmer’s Cheese is often used in recipes for Blintzes or Pierogies. It also works well in pasta shells and ravioli. One popular local use is to lightly fry Farmer’s Cheese and use it in a sandwich, but our favorite use is to slice it very thinly and roll it with our flavorful smoked meats. It’s a great addition to a platter of cheeses and charcuterie. We also recommend it as a cheese to keep at home for sandwiches and salads. You can even use it in dips.
It is delicious with potatoes. Try it mixed into your mashed potatoes or piled into loaded potato skins. Try it as a topping on pizza or as part of a mezze platter with pitta bread and olives.
For a sweet snack, drizzle the cheese with honey and serve with slices of apple. We absolutely love the sweet and salty contrast. Some people enjoy this cheese in dishes that contain sugar or cinnamon, such as pancakes, as they find its buttery flavor works well with the sweetness. You only need a little of the cheese to add richness without throwing off the balance of flavors.
What should I drink with it?
Farmer’s cheese pairs well with flavorful white wines like Chardonnay and Riesling. Red wines that pair well include Gamay Noir (Beaujolais) and Pinot Noir. You will also find that rose or blush wines like White Zinfandel are also a good match as they go well with the slightly salty, creamy flavor of the cheese. You can even try it with a Muscat dessert wine.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of Farmer’s Cheese. You can also enjoy this cheese in our Cheese Lover’s Gift Box or the Amish Country Sampler Gift Box. To try our favorite combination of Farmer’s Cheese with smoked meats, grab our gift box with Troyer’s Trail Bologna. How do you like to eat it? Let us know in the comments below!
We love to find new ways for you to indulge in our favorite treats here at Shisler’s Cheese House, and today is no exception. We’re going to explore some uses for pretzels that you might not have thought of. That’s right, they’re not just for dipping and snacking!
We stock a huge range of pretzels, including favorites such as our Gourmet Chocolate Covered Pretzels. These have been made with love by Stefanelli’s Candies in Erie, PA since 1929 and we are now proud to offer them to you here in Ohio’s Amish Country! You’ll also find peanut butter, honey mustard, and yogurt pretzels amongst a wide range of others.
Uses for Pretzels: Breakfast
If you’re making your own granola bars at home, or even just a good batch of granola for hearty morning breakfasts, why not add a handful of crushed pretzels to the mix? They can add both texture and flavor. The saltiness will contrast with your chosen sweet ingredients to create the perfect mix.
Uses for Pretzels: Snacks
Of course, pretzels are a snack in themselves, but they can also be elevated to a whole new level with just a few moments of effort. Crush up salty pretzels and roll a ball of cream cheese in them for a quick and easy game night dip. Combine them with other treats to create a sweet or savory trail mix. You can even add a pretzel on top of your favorite sweet drinks; hot chocolates and milkshakes with plenty of whipped cream are our favorites.
Uses for Pretzels: Dinner
Savory pretzels make a great crunchy topping for a variety of dishes including chicken, pasta or even schnitzel. Crush them up using a rolling pin and sprinkle them anywhere that you might use breadcrumbs. Just be sure that you haven’t chosen chocolate pretzels!
Uses for Pretzels: Baking
This is where pretzels really can be used anywhere! They’re great crushed into the crust for a cheesecake or sprinkled on top of cupcakes. Combine them with popcorn and melted chocolate to make clusters for movie night. Chop them into your cookie dough for extra crunch. Add them to your s’mores for another layer of fun.
If you are not in the mood for baking yourself, then why not pick up some Heggy’s White Chocolate Pretzel Delights? These are a combination of fresh ground pretzels mixed with a white creamy coating so that you can enjoy a treat without the need to cook.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our new uses for pretzels. How do you like to eat them? Let us know in the comments below!
Our readers know that we love to share our cheese knowledge with you and today is no exception. We’re going to tell you everything we know about Colby Cheese so that you can try it next time you’re picking up some cheese.
What is Colby Cheese?
Colby cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that is native to the United States, although today it is also made in other regions of the world as well. Although it is similar to cheddar cheese in its orange or yellow appearance, it has a much milder and creamier taste.
How is it made?
Milk is heated and has cultures added to it before rennet coagulates the curds of the cheese. The curds are cut and then cooked to remove any moisture before being washed in cold water. This reduces the acid content of the cheese by depriving the bacteria of lactose, their food source. This gives a much less tangy cheese when it is finished and also restores moisture to the cheese, making it softer than cheddar.
Once the curds have been drained, pressed, and salted, the cheese can be aged for four to six weeks. You might enjoy having a go at making Colby if you are looking for a cheese to try that doesn’t require months of aging.
History of Colby Cheese
This cheese was developed in the late 19th century by Joseph Steinwand, the son of a Wisconsin cheese maker. He named the cheese after the town in which the family had built their first dairy, and Colby, Wisconsin continues to celebrate Colby cheese today. As Wisconsin cheese caught the public eye across America, Colby also became very popular. It is considered to be one of the first truly American cheeses, as it was developed by an American in the United States, and was not intended to be an imitation of any European cheese.
How should I eat it?
Colby cheese goes very well with rye bread, apples, and pears as it is creamy and complements their acidity. Some people like to use Colby as a table cheese, either served in slices or cubes. It’s a particularly great snack for kids who might not like stronger cheeses. The gentle flavor works well in a grilled sandwich, especially if you are including other ingredients that you don’t want to overpower.
We like to grate this cheese over salads or dishes that need a last minute creamy addition. Generally, though, we might not use it in cooked dishes as the flavor can be lost. To truly appreciate it, simply slicing it and enjoying it with crackers with let you enjoy both the flavor and texture.
What should I drink with it?
Colby has such a mild and smooth flavor that it will pair well with many wines. Avoid something too fruity as it might overpower the cheese entirely. We recommend Syrah or Shiraz if you prefer red wine, or a Riesling for white wine lovers.
How do you like to enjoy Colby cheese? Let us know in the comments!