Monday, December 26, 2011

Amish Cheese Ohio, Vacation Holmes County Cheese Houses

Typical Scene in Holmes County Ohio - Grade B Milk is Shipped for Cheesemaking
 Amish and Swiss immigrants who left the Swiss Alps to settle the hill country of Holmes County, Ohio, brought with them cheesemaking skills and experience in the science of producing exceptional cheeses.

Prior to refrigeration, the only means of preserving milk was to make it into cheese.  An elderly Amish man, Johnny Y Schlabach, who lived to age 101, was the cheesemaker at the Honey Run Dairy Company, today the home of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, told me, "If you want good cheese, don't let your cows get into apples."  He explained that something in the apples will ruin the cheese.  He also said that every time they had to make cheese, they had to kill a calf because they needed the enzymes from the calf's stomach.   At that time there were many cheese houses in Holmes County, one about every few miles.  Farmers took their cheese to the local cheese house by buggy, cart, or hack.  Between the late 1800's and into the mid 1900's, in Walnut Creek Township alone, there were eight cheese factories. In the early 1900's there were about 50 cheesehouses in Holmes County.

Every year millions of pounds of cheese is made from milk produced in eastern Ohio.  Many varieties of top-quality cheese may be purchased from cheesehouses in the greater Holmes County area.  Include a cheese house visit on your next Amish Country vacation.

Broad Run Cheesehouse & Swiss Heritage Winery offers 30 cheese varieties that may be paired with one of their many fine wines.  A nice vacation stop.

Heini's Cheese Near Berlin, Ohio
 Holmes County Cheese produces cheese, selling wholesale and retail, located at 9444 SR 39, Millersburg, (330) 674-6451.

Heini's Cheese Chalet in Berlin, Ohio is a cheese-producing facility where you may enjoy a free factory tour and sample many different varieties of cheeses. Recommended stop.

Guggisberg Cheese in Charm, Ohio
 Guggisberg Cheese is home of the original Baby Swiss Cheese, which was developed in Holmes County.  The Guggisberg family is 2nd generation from Switzerland and still maintains ties to their Swiss heritage.  Their market features 60 varieties of cheese and other authentic European products, including Black Forest Cuckoo clocks, another recommended stop.

Brewster Dairy, a large producer in Wayne County cuts and packages over 200,000 pounds of swiss cheese daily.  Their Big Cheese Shoppe presently is under construction, not available for retail sales.

Pearl Valley located in Coshocton County is known for a number of award-winning cheeses.  Just south of Holmes County, a stop is worth your time to stop and sample or watch cheesemaking in the morning hours.

Yaggi Cheese in New Philadelphia, third generation cheesemaker, offers fines cheeses and many other local food products. Recommended stop.

King VIP Suite at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
  When visiting Holmes County consider a stay at the award-winning Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast , originally the home of Honey Run Dairy, for the finest in hospitality, where our friendly staff will give you up-to-date information on places to go and things to do in the area. 

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 27, 2011

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