I always enjoy seeing Salemville brand cheese (SIGH, no this is not a paid product pitch, it'd be kind of nice if it were!:) in stores. I like seeing it because I've actually been to the plant where it is produced and its Amish connection is genuine and strong. This small, non-descript sign is the only indication that such a large cheese operation is in your midst. Many products claim an Amish attribute but in reality have a tenuous connection to the culture. We devote a lot of space to Salemville cheese in our upcoming book Amish Cooks Across America, so I'll save most of the coverage until then....but visiting their factory in rural Central Wisconsin was a tasty and fun experience. Well, it was tasty if you like blue cheese, which I do. It seems to be an acquired taste, though, with people either loving it or hating it. Personally, I love it,the chunkier and bluier (it's fun making up words) the better! Salemville is unique because they are an owned subsidary of DCI, a large international "cheese conglomerate" that is quite non-Amish. But Salemville cheese is sort of kept as a separate operation, operated and managed by Old Order Amish. All the milk used to make the cheese comes from over 50 Amish dairy farms in central Wisconsin and the cheese is aged to perfection in 60 day or 90 day processes. The executives pretty much leave the place alone other than occasional visits and horse and buggies are more common in Salemville's parking lot than cars. These are two employee buggies parked in the parking lot. Why is blue cheese on my mind today? Rachel and I had a lot of fresh dill from our garden so she remembered a recipe that I included in Amish Cooks Across America and decided that'd be a tasty way to use up some of the dill and, yum, it definitely was! I'll share the dip recipe here, it is delicious (if you like blue cheese)!
- ½ - ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 - 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Pinch or two of fresh dill, torn into ⅛ - ¼ inch pieces (dried can be substituted if fresh is not available)
- 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles or to taste
- Whisk together the sour cream and mayonnaise until creamy and well blended. Add the dill and blue cheese crumbles and stir briefly. Serve.
- This dressing can be used on salad or as a dip for vegetables or hot wings.
- Yield: 1 - 1½ cups
We used the Salemville "extra aged" cheese in the above dip and had broccoli from our garden, pretzels, carrots, and other goodies to dip into the dip. Tasty! And while I am on the subject of blue cheese, I received the following press release from Salemville the other day, it looks like they are expanding their line:
DCI Cheese Co. has introduced three new items to its award-winning line of blue-veined cheeses: Salemville Smokehaus Blue wedges (4 oz), Salemville Reserve wedges (4 oz) and Salemville Reserve crumble cups (4 oz). Additionally, all of the brand's 4-oz exact weight wedges have received appealing new packaging.
Salemville cheeses are farmer-certified rBGH free, rich in calcium and contain no preservatives or chemical additives. They feature enticingly creamy textures and beautiful, consistent veining. Salemville Smokehaus Blue is a hand-crafted Applewood smoked blue cheese with a slightly sweet, lightly smoky flavor that pairs nicely with apples, walnuts and sweet wines. Salemville Reserve is a premium blue-veined cheese that undergoes extended aging to achieve a delightfully earthy and savory flavor that shines on burgers and salads.