Happy Cheese Ball Day!

Cheese balls are the quintessential party food. They can be made at home or purchased at the grocery cheese shoppe; they can be sweet or savory, and the possibilities for dippers are endless. According to legend, the first cheese ball was made for President Thomas Jefferson in 1801.

The cheeseball has always been near and dear to us, because in the 1970s, our founder Sheldon Basloe created the first cheeseball sold in grocery stores. He developed the process that allowed a fresh, refrigerated cheeseball to be able to be sold in groceries and enjoyed at home. Sheldon Basloe was a true visionary and created many unique cheese products. He was inducted into the Dairy Hall of Fame for his innovations to the cheese industry.Balls and Logs2

Over the years we have made many different kinds of cheese balls. We also make cheese logs, which are similar to balls but are long shape instead of round. Our Herkimer® cheese balls are still made the same way, starting with the highest quality of ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible, and then rolled in crunchy diced almonds and hand-wrapped. They are available in 8 varieties: Sharp, Port Wine, Garlic & Herb, Blue Cheese, Merlot, Smoked Gouda with Sundried Tomatoes, Buffalo Blue, and Bruschetta.

Our cheese balls and logs are available in fine grocery stores, on our website http://www.OriginalHerkimerCheese.com, and in our retail outlet at 2745 State Route 51 S in Ilion, NY.


Simple Appetizers for Stress-Free Entertaining (Easter Edition)

Simplicity is the key to stress-free entertaining. We love appetizers that can be put together in minutes and with minimal effort (and dirty dishes!).


Fruit & Cheese Kebabs

Fruit & Cheese Kebabs are super easy to make, and can be personalized based on what you like. Just take any fruit and alternate with cubes of cheese. We love the combination of strawberries, cheddar, and grapes. Kebabs would also be great with cheddar and apple cubes, or melon and Chutter alternated with prosciutto and mint.  Healthy, kid-approved, and easy to serve and eat – no utensils required!

We’ve all been at the Easter get-together when there are a few hours before the meal is ready to be served but the family is hungry and starts eyeballing the kitchen. It’s too early to serve the Bunny Cake… how about a “Carrot” Cheese Ball?  Made from one of our classic Herkimer® Cheese Balls (available in 8 flavors: Sharp, Port Wine, Garlic & Herb, Blue Cheese, Merlot, Smoked Gouda w/ Sundried Tomatoes, Bruschetta, or Buffalo Blue), this Easter-themed hors d’oeuvre will be a crowd favorite.

Easter Carrot Cheese Ball-01

The simplest of all appetizers is a charcuterie or cheese tray.  Don’t be daunted by the big name; charcuterie is just a mix of cheese and meat, with accents of savory and sweet. With so many Herkimer® cheeses to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect cheese for your charcuterie tray. The best part of a charcuterie board is that you just set out all of the components and the guests help themselves!OHC chartcuterie 2

What’s your favorite simple go-to appetizer? Let us know in the comments or post on our social media! We would love to hear your best ideas!

Until next time, happy snacking!

Lenten and Meatless Meals

Lent season is the perfect time to try some new meatless meals, and an easy way to do this is with cheese dishes. Cheese is high in protein and calcium, and comes in many varieties, flavors and textures. Our specialty has always been aged New York state cheddar. Our Herkimer® cheddar is known for its smooth, creamy texture and distinct sharpness.

grilled cheese picture

Click thumbnail above to view video


Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese
1 lb. Herkimer® Aged NY Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 lb. elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 ½ cups milk
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp paprika


  1. Pour the uncooked macaroni into 5 quart slow-cooker. Top with butter and cheeses.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, evaporated milk, salt, pepper and paprika
  3. Pour the milk mixture over macaroni and stir to combine. Milk will not completely cover the macaroni.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hour, stirring after the first hour.
  5. When all the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked, the mac and cheese will be done.

In Celebration of Mrs. B

On Thursday, April 29, 2016, Mrs. Norma Basloe passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones. She and her late husband Sheldon Basloe founded our company, the Original Herkimer County Cheese Company, in 1949. Mrs. B, as she was known to many, was an amazing woman, wife and mother. She was resilient, colorful, strong and unforgettable. To honor the memory of her full and vibrant life, we’d like to begin to share her story.

Norma Syra Samuels was born in Fort Plains, New York. Her parents owned a men’s clothing store and were part of the fabric of the community. From her parents she learned the importance of community, hard work, and salesmanship, and to appreciate family, education, and the arts.  Her parents encouraged their children to attend college, and upon graduating Fort Plains High School, she went to follow in her parents’ footsteps by majoring in fashion retailing at NYU.

Always curious and very social, she used her experience in the city not only to study retailing, but to explore the cultural and artistic venues, taking in the arts, the museums, Broadway and fashion.  After graduating, she landed a job at Montgomery Wards as a fashion copywriter.  The world was now her oyster, this was it!  She had made it; she had a great job, life was exciting, the future was waiting for her, this was it: New York, New York!

MomDad Wed_cropThen one weekend while visiting her parents in Fort Plain, her cousins suggested she join them for dinner with a few friends at their home. She wasn’t there long before in walked Sheldon Basloe, in his glen plaid double-breasted suit. The sparks flew for both. She went back to New York and two weeks later, Sheldon called her and said, “Norma, get on a train and get back here, and let’s get the show on the road.” Three months later they were married.

Sheldon worked in real estate with his father until he decided the real estate business was not for him. After selling a dairy one day, he started shipping cheese out of a location in Mohawk and was soon tinkering with manufacturing cheese in the back of their newly opened gourmet food business on Caroline Street in Herkimer. That was the beginning of Original Herkimer County Cheese.

Over 65 years Making Quality Artisan Cheese Products

Cheddar CheeseThe Herkimer Cheese tradition has its roots in the rich soil of New York’s Herkimer County, where conditions are ideal for dairy farming. By the 1850s, the area became a major center of cheese production because the milk produced there was so wholesome and plentiful. Soon Herkimer County cheddar was known the world over for its exceptional flavor and quality.

Herkimer Cheese – originally Herkimer County Cheese Company – was founded in 1949 by Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Basloe. Since that time, the Basloes and their three sons have earned a national reputation for their finely-crafted artisan cheeses, carrying the proud Herkimer County tradition forward into the 21st Century.