Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ohio Cheese Factory is the Oldest in the USA

When you travel to Ohio Amish Country and see the rolling hills and farms you would not be surprised to find cheese factories in the area.  One Ohio cheese factory is actually the oldest in the USA!  Steiner Cheese of Baltic started in 1833 when Jacob Steiner migrated to America bringing with him a special swiss cheese kettle to make cheese.  Jacob was so successful that it soon brought dairy farmers and other cheese makers to the area.  Amish Country of Ohio became the Swiss cheese capital of America by the turn of the century.  In spite of automation and modernization in the industry, Steiner Cheese continues to make their award-winning cheese in an old world style.  When you travel to Ohio Amish Country you will find Steiner Cheese on Mill Street in Baltic off of State Route 93 just south of Sugarcreek.  Just down the road on State Road 93 you will find Pearl Valley Cheese.  It was founded by Swiss immigrants in 1928.  Today the third generation of the Stalder family runs this ever growing cheese factory.  They produce nearly 3 million pounds of cheese every year using milk from Ohio dairy farmers.  Another special story is that of Alfred Guggisberg of Guggisberg Cheese in the Charm area.  Alfred starting making cheese at the age of 16.  He went to school for cheese making and worked in Europe and Africa before coming to the United States.  Alfred made cheese in the Doughty Valley and Guggisberg Cheese started in 1950 and is still run by his family today.  They are one of the largest manufacturers of Swiss cheese in the country.  They were awards Ohio Grand Champion Cheese Maker in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2009.   They have also won awards at the World Dairy Expo!   Many have tried to imitate their famous Baby Swiss but no one has succeeded.  Cheese factories are among the Holmes County Ohio Tourist Attractions.  In addition to these 3 cheese factories there is Heini's Cheese, Walnut Creek Cheese, Holmes Cheese, and the next County over is Broad Run Cheese House.  The next time you are looking for a great snack don't overlook Ohio cheese.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

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