If you’re still looking for a nice holiday gift, or some tasty treats for when guests come over, you might consider a cheese gift basket by Goot Essa (an advertiser here).
This is an Amish-owned company that came on my radar last summer in regards to their shift to online sales in response to the pandemic.
Goot Essa (which means “good food” or “good eating” in Pennsylvania Dutch) is based in central PA, and uses milk provided by other Amish farms in the area. Here’s the gift basket I got last year:
People seem to really like the cheese – here are a few comments from readers:
–>“I just got mine in the mail yesterday..Of course I had to open it right up and taste some…It is really good…You can’t go wrong ordering it..Love it..” (from the Facebook page)
–>“Thrilled to see Goot Essa on your site. I subscribe to a YouTube channel of a Mennonite mom and she has raved about them!”
–>“We learned of the Goot Essa company from earlier email link to article. My wife and I visited the Esh farm last month. Absolutely beautiful farm, spotless production facility was amazing (particularly enjoyed samples trays). Employees were all very friendly and outgoing to answer all our questions. Tour of the cheese cave was really cool (slight pun intended!).
The quality of the cheeses is definitely at a gourmet level. We took care of our family Christmas shopping. Also, purchased a considerable sample of cheeses to enjoy ourselves! Highly recommend the Goot Essa products, and in-person farm visit if you are in the area.”
We also had an interview with owner John Esh, which you can read here. An excerpt:
Amish America: How did Goot Essa get started?
John Esh: Nineteen years ago – my dairy nutritionist Bob Patton kept asking – how are you going to keep the farm in the family? We have a small dairy herd and realized that we couldn’t compete with the large farms. We considered our options and chose to start making specialty cheeses.
Amish America: Who are the other families and farms involved in the business?
John Esh: We buy our goat milk from two Amish farm families and the sheep milk from three Amish farm families. We use their milk to make cheese with.
What’s the community like where you live?
We have about 600 Amish families in the four valleys that we live in. There are about 14 Amish youth groups included in the 600 families.
Which is your personal favorite cheese or cheeses?
For breakfast with bacon and eggs I enjoy the Mt. Valley Sharp Cheddar. For a snack I enjoy Felsa Yehr with coffee. For lunch Der Weichen Gehl melted on a sandwich. For dinner some Der Edel bleu Kase with steak.
If you’re on the West Coast, today (December 15th) is the last day to place an order for holiday delivery. If you’re on the East Coast, that deadline is December 20th. Visit the Goot Essa main page here, or go directly to their gift baskets.
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