BY ALYSSON AREDAS
Living in 209
Forget everything you know about traditional pies this holiday season because Hilmar Cheese Company is switching up those very traditions with its very own unique Cheese Pie.
Since its opening nearly two decades ago, Hilmar Cheese Company has offered the distinctive Cheese Pie, which differs from a traditional pie because of its crust and filling, as well as from a cheesecake with its smoother and lighter consistency.
“The visitor center has an all-natural, no preservative cream cheese that is smooth and delicious,” said Mary Wickstrom, one of Hilmar Cheese Company’s founding owners. “We wanted something better than a cheesecake, so we developed our original Cheese Pie flavor and we feature local almonds in the crust. We wanted something that represented the wonderful agriculture in our area. The Cheese Pie is uniquely ours.”
Each month, the cheese company sells about 100 pies, many as individual slices, according to Director of Education and Public Relations Denise Skidmore, who said that come Thanksgiving they sell double that amount in pumpkin Cheese Pies. This pattern is repeated during Christmastime when the cheese company offers its turtle Cheese Pie with a caramel chocolate drizzle and pecan topping.
“Though we sell the most of our original Cheese Pie, we also sell many pumpkin Cheese Pies as it is a unique option to the traditional pie for Thanksgiving,” said Skidmore. “The turtle Cheese Pie for Christmas parties is also very popular.”
The cheese company doesn’t stop with its pumpkin Cheese Pie or turtle Cheese Pie as a different flavor of cheese pie is offered each month in addition to the original Cheese Pie. Flavors of the month include raspberry white chocolate, double layer strawberry chocolate with a ganache topping, mint chip with an Oreo crust and ganache, chocolate peanut butter, s'mores, Almond Joy, peanut butter and jelly, lemon blueberry, chocolate chip cookie with a chocolate topping and cookie crumbles among others.
Those interested in sampling Hilmar Cheese Company’s original Cheese Pie and pumpkin Cheese Pie before the holiday season will get their chance at the company’s upcoming Annual Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. During the event, guests can enjoy delicious complimentary gourmet good and sweet samples, cheese tasting, wine tasting and a variety of other activities. For a schedule of activities, visit hilmarcheese.com/news/visitor-center-holiday-open-house-saturday-november-12.
Customers must submit an order by Nov. 21 to ensure that they get a Cheese Pie in time for Thanksgiving. Cheese Pies will be available for pickup by 7 p.m. Nov. 23.
“It’s much easier than trying to bake a dessert on your own,” said Skidmore. “Hilmar Cheese Company will even slice it for you!”