HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Swiss Colony food baskets?

  • d

I recently received a Swiss Colony catalog in the mail. I've never heard of them, but their petit fours look great and I'm considering buying them for a few Xmas baskets. Has anyone tried this company? Any recommended items? Thanks!

Link: http://www.swisscolony.com/jump.jsp?i...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. t

    I've seen this stuff during Christmas season in shopping malls. It doesn't look all that great. The quality looks inferior. Never tried it on that basis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      I'd steer clear - this is lowest common denominator gift food.

    2. I used to lived in the state where there were lots of Swiss Coloney stores. Nothing wonderful or special, although it obviously sells well enough, since the company has been around for decades. They are best known for cheese. I suggest some other vendor for petit fours.

      1. Swiss Colony is to Hickory Farms as KFC is to Boston Market---
        that is to say none of its very good. Passable in a suburban, serious lack of Christmas creativity way. Not to necessarily admonish the need to gift aquaintences with mall-quality meats and cheese(not to mention strawberry candies). My extended family used to give each other these things every holiday season.
        It ain't good, but it won't kill you. I still occasionally crave Swiss Colony et al summer sausages, gubment cheeses(mmmm...brick cheese!), and those strawberry candies. The legacy of familial abuse!

        1 Reply
        1. re: malcarne

          I also enjoy Harry and David. Second the pears! Sometime during the past decade my mom severed ties with Hickory Farms and started a fruitful(hehe) relationship with Harry and David(Oh! the possibilities!). Harry and David is everything Swiss Colony et al should be(and will NEVER be).

        2. if you're looking for a food mail company for presents, I suggest Harry and David's pears. We get them every year for christmas from a friend and look forward to them with salivating mouths. Once they ripen a bit they are the best, richest, juiciest pears I have ever had.

          1. There is a thread pertaining somewhat to this topic going on on the Midwest Board (under Monroe Cheese - Swiss Colony is in Monroe, Wisconsin). You either love or hate Swiss Colony. Personally, I think their stuff, particularly the sweets, is gross. Frosted cardboard is about the most apt description I can come up with.

            I second the Harry and David suggestion ... or make your own candy and send it.

            1. In our office, this is the gift that the bad vendors send. Our staff people try and regift to distant family members.

              Note that they do not list the grade of their meat products. Can you say select?

              1. t

                I haven't ordered from them, but the petits fours available at divinedelights.com look... welll... divine!

                1. l

                  I've been to their factory store in Monroe Wis. a few times. The store itself isn't too bad because you can buy some "real" cheeses from local dairies but what they send out is very tiny portions and very bland.

                  1. I've tried them and they're really not good. The sausages are ok, but you could probably get better at a local place. If Harry & David are not your style or too expensive, try Wolferman's. They have english muffins and breads that are very good and make nice basket treats. They have both prepared gifts and mix & match; prices are reasonable and quality is excellent.

                    1. d
                      Devon R. in LA

                      Wow, what a consensus. Ok, check Swiss Colony off my list! I've done the Harry & David pears before and though I love them, wanted to try something different. Maybe I should just stick to a sure thing... Thanks everyone!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Devon R. in LA

                        This can be another thread for another discussion... Pears aside, Harry & David have gone way downhill since they were taken over by a giant company. I call their Baskets the "The Little Basket of Horrors" because of the bad stuff (rotten fruit, subpar & overpriced baked goods) that can sometimes be found in them.

                        Perhaps a thread could start on Chowhounds' favorite mail order sites.

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          this has been done in other guises within the last several months-- "mail order" is a keyword that should bring up the appropriate threads. Zingerman's seems to be a universal fave.