My family has started a tradition the last few years of cutting down a Christmas Tree together. My husband Kyle grew up often cutting their own trees, but the concept was a little new to me. We usually had an artificial tree when I was a kid. Kyle and I bought real trees the first few years we were married, but he always talked about cutting our own. But where? And why? I guess my view was always that there are growers who are going to cut the trees anyway to sell, so why would we also cut a tree. Why not let the trees live?
Then the perfect answer came to us a few years ago. Our local power company owns a lot of land in the area and they try to manage the properties and what grows on it. They host one day each December where you can come in and cut a balsam fir tree of your choice (any size). They have hot chocolate, cookies and a bonfire and an area set up where you can have a family photo taken. They want people to cut the balsam fir as they tend to over-populate and kill off some of the native pine trees. Perfect. We packed up the kids and a sled and went on our way. We have now done this for the past few years, and the kids love it and look forward to it. The trees are definitely not as perfect as those we could buy at a store, but they mean so much more to us. Not only do we get a tree, but we get an experience, a memory, and usually a great family photo! It is our family tradition.
Hickory Farms recently sent me one of their Cheddar Flight with Salami package to try and I think this may become a new family tradition for me. I LOVE cheddar cheese. It is honestly my favorite food. My life might end if I couldn’t have cheese, especially cheddar. I was giddy with excitement to try this. Part of Hickory Farms new Reserve Collection which features all-natural artisanal cheeses handcrafted in Wisconsin, the Cheddar Flight with Salami includes:
-5 Oz Apple Smoked Cheddar With Paprika
-5 Oz Smoked Garlic Cheddar
-5 Oz Classic Cheddar
-5 Oz 3 Year Aged Cheddar
-7 Oz Dry Aged Salami
Net Weight 1.6 lbs.
Kyle and I sat down one night to have our own little cheese sampling party. Kyle is a cheese lover too, so he was looking forward to it as much as me. We definitely were not disappointed! In fact, we were both extremely pleased.
The Apple Smoked Cheddar With Paprika has a very smokey flavor. The Paprika is the perfect addition to the smoked flavor of the white cheddar cheese. Smoked with applewood, it was a GREAT cheese. Loved it.
Kyle really loved the 3 year aged cheddar. Its a sharp cheddar hand dipped in wax to preserve the freshness. The description says “fruity notes and floral finish”. Kyle and I both agreed the finish was a little bitter for lack of a better word. Not bitter in a bad way, just a definite after taste. Kyle loved it, and I really liked it. You definitely need a cracker after this one to erase the taste before tasting anything else.
Classic Cheddar rounded out the cheese portion of this package. I will say, while this tasted like a good mild cheddar, we were both less than enthused with this one. It was not bad by any means but this one felt like something we would find on sale at our local grocers. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, just not anything special.
Finally the package included a stick of Dry Aged Salami. We LOVED this salami. Dry-cured salami handcrafted from selected cuts of pork and expertly flavored with red wine. As Kyle said “dry cured salami like it should be”. We both thoroughly enjoyed the salami and it was a perfect compliment to all of the cheeses.
I would be happy to make this a Holiday Tradition, but I may have to make it a tradition strictly with my husband because it is so good, I don’t want to share with anyone else!
Hickory Farms wants to know, what are your family traditions?
The Hickory Farms Cheddar Flight with Salami has a MSRP of $44.99 and can be ordered online from Hickory Farms with free shipping on orders over $35. Or, use their store locator to find a store near you!
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Disclosure: I received samples for purpose of this review however all thoughts remain my own.