The Amish Communities are a big part of Shisler’s Cheese House. We pride ourselves in using local trade, producers, and Cheesemakers when we can. It is important to us as just as much as our customers, especially our regulars because you’re what keep us going. With everything over the years changing and becoming more modernized and grocery stores putting everything under one roof, it can really take its toll on local businesses.
This is why we love our Amish Community. The Amish people are Amish because of their religion. What they believe comes directly from the Bible:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15 RSV
Amish people came to the United States in search of religious freedom, as did many immigrants. In the 1700s, between 50 and 100 Amish families arrived in America, settling mostly in Pennsylvania. Many others followed in the 19th century. Over the years, various orders of Amish spread into Ohio.
They live in homes without electricity or telephones, ride in buggies and wear plain, home-made clothing. They choose this way of living because they do not want to conform to the rest of the world.
In the same sense, the Amish produce milk, meats, cheese all naturally with the best, high-quality results. The quality of our products is not something you can find in a grocery store. Products from grocery stores can be full of harmful things that are simply unwanted but needed in mass production and animals are often treated cruelly.
In Amish Country, people and animals are living a simple, free life, how they believe God intended.
With this, we are passionate about supporting their local business and products in the same way our friendly customers do.
You can always count on having not only high-quality products but an experience like no other at Shisler’s Cheese House. We genuinely care for each and every one of our customers and look forward to seeing and meeting you all while helping you with all your cheese and like gourmet needs! Having been a family run business for almost 60 years, you can guarantee to have a warm, family welcoming.
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 residency is Amish. Other neighboring counties having Amish communities are Wayne, Tuscarawas and Coshocton Counties. Visitors to these reiongs 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 shear, flawless beauty, ever changing with the seasons. It is a very beautiful country which 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.
Some major Amish communities include…
- Walnut Creek
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 play the tradition 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 with Amish children less likely to leave, but remain a part of their community or relocating 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 toward a difference direction. With the growing number of Amish populations across the region, along with increasing land prices, purchasing farm land has become challenging. This has led to a change in societal development. In order to adapt to this change, smaller-sized farms, around 10 acres in size, are replacing the large grain farms and are becoming more common along with growing vegetables. Vegetable production produces enough for a number of families while 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 and religious views, there a number of things they do agree on; one of these ideas centers on a tireless work effort with their work efforts and practices not having much or any influence with the modern world of advancing technologies. Essentially they stay true their roots.
Amish farms continue to be the apex and heart of Amish Country. While the number of farms have 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…
The road to Amish Country was once a less traveled route, but 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 Store and Café, 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 anyone 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 that focuses on traditional culinary treats ranging from a wide array of imported and domestic cheeses to 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!
There are countless recipes for fondue, but most contain some form of the original “Swiss” cheese. Many contain Emmentaler or Gruyere, but in today’s economic climate it is not always necessary to break the bank with expensive imports to impress your guests. The taste is what will impress them, and the best tasting fondue we’ve tried is made with Ohio’s Amish Country Swiss Cheese.
- 1 ½ Pounds of Grated Swiss Cheese
- 1 peeled fresh garlic clove
- ½ Pint of white wine
- 1 Ounce of kirsch
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- pepper, nutmeg, or paprika to taste
Serves 5 guests.
Rösti (Rq-sty) Potatoes, sometimes spelled Roschti Potatoes according to Swiss German, was originally a breakfast dish enjoyed by farmers in the Swiss Canton of Bern. Many Swiss people consider Rösti to be a national dish. This particular variation includes fresh smoked ham, which was an advent of the Swiss and German settlers in Northeastern Ohio’s Amish Country. The smoked mozzarella was added to make the dish more flavorful, as it is now often enjoyed as a lunch or dinner dish rather than just breakfast. This is another one of those recipes where the quality of the ingredients will determine the quality of the dish. While various types of potatoes are acceptable, make sure to use quality fresh ham and smoked mozzarella. Budget ham and cheese from your local grocery store will not add much zing.
- 6-8 Large Potatoes
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 3 Tablespoons of Butter (we recommend Fresh Amish Butter)
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1¼ cups of Grated Smoked Mozzarella cheese
- ½ Pound of fresh smoked ham, very thinly sliced
- Peel potatoes and onion. Finely chop onion and finely shred potatoes. Combine onions, potatoes, and salt.
- Heat 2 skillets. Divide the butter and olive oil evenly between them. Heat until the butter is slightly brown. Then divide the potato-onion mixture evenly between them. Cook both for 8 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add Smoked Mozzarella to both skillets. Firmly press potatoes into pancake shapes.
- Press the two pancakes together with smoked ham in between.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the bottom becomes crispy. Then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Have you ever heard of Trail Bologna? We used to think everyone had. Passers-through never seemed to be able to get enough of it. But then we realized that it was only available in the local area. We have seen imitations in places like California and New Jersey with clever names like “Ring Bologna.” But this is a perfect example of one of those cases where nothing even comes close to the original: Troyer’s Trail Bologna.
Trail is capitalized because it is named after the tiny town of Trail, Ohio. Trail is so small that it does not even have it’s own zip code. It shares a zip code with the nearby town of Dundee, OH, and population statistics are not even available. Trail was so named because SR 515, the main road through the town, was originally a trail created by American Indians before the European settlers moved to the area. About the only thing in Trail Ohio today is the original production facility where Troyer’s Trail Bologna is made, complete with a general store where enthusiasts can buy all of the products Troyer’s offers, along with other local fare.
Michael Troyer began producing this bologna in 1912. He used a special blend of seasonings and unique wood smoking process to develop this chunky beef bologna with a rich smoky flavor. It was originally hand stuffed into casing and rolled into its hallmark “ring” shape. It is a common misconception that the Original Trail Bologna was made from Venison (deer meat). It is illegal to sell the meat of wild game, so the Original Trail Bologna is all beef. But the facility will process deer brought in by hunters using their unique methods. There is also a rumor that Michael Troyer purchased his recipe for $25 from another family in Trail named Weiss, who had already been producing the now famous bologna for some time. But that has never been confirmed.
Today, Kenny, Kevin, and Darrin Troyer run the facility with the same standard of quality that their great grandfather did nearly one hundred years ago. Of course the facility has evolved. The Trail Bologna is no longer hand stuffed and modern machinery has enabled them to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. The facility now produces an average of 50 tons of Trail Bologna per month, doubling that during the holiday season. But the standard of quality that made Troyer’s Trail Bologna famous has never faltered. All three brothers are still highly involved with the production process. They now offer their Trail Bologna infused with locally made cheddar cheese and hot pepper cheese. They also produce it in sandwich size logs suitable for slicing and enjoying on sandwiches. They even make a Turkey Trail Bologna for their more health conscious customers.
Troyer’s Trail Bologna is best enjoyed with Swiss Cheese, Baby Swiss Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, or Hot Pepper Cheese for those with a more daring palate. Local and tourist taste buds are intimately familiar with the unique flavor of Troyer’s Trail Bologna. Locals who move out of state often complain that they cannot find it anywhere else. It can be very difficult to find outside of the state of Ohio. Fortunately however, for those who are web-savvy, one local merchant is offering it nationwide over the internet at https://cheesehouse.com/troyers-trail-bologna.aspx
Enjoy the smoky flavor of Troyer’s Trail Bologna, an Ohio Amish Country original!