Eating cheese

plaza
All the Christmas tourists have gone, thank the Goddess.

WALKING ACROSS the plaza Friday heading to the coffee shop, I was unaware that soon I’d be hauling cheese.

No sooner had I sat down with my café Americano negro and opened my Kindle to Charlemagne than my child bride walked up and deposited a bag with a container of cream and a half-kilo of cheese on my table.

Please take this home, she said.

She was heading to the gym.

One of the many things you’re warned about on visiting Mexico is not to eat the cheese. Isn’t pasteurized, they say, or something like that. I pay it no mind.

If someone puts a tasty cheese in front of me, I eat it, no questions asked, and it has not killed me yet.

This is named queso fresco — fresh cheese — and it’s my favorite. We  recently found a butcher shop in a bad neighborhood that sells great queso fresco.

When I got home, I took a photo for you. Half a kilo is a big hunk of cheese, and it will last us a while.

cheeze

Till I got it home it wasn’t even refrigerated.

I am fearless.

16 thoughts on “Eating cheese”

  1. Good for you to be so fearless! I have an anecdote from my Brooklyn childhood involving Gorgonzola cheese, but it’s too gross to tell here.

    Are you certain that the cheese in the photo is queso fresco? Usually queso fresco is softer, whiter. That cheese looks like queso añejo.

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

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    1. Don Cuevas: My wife says it’s queso fresco. It is soft. If you go into a shop and just ask for queso, which is common, you usually get queso fresco.

      Thanks for sparing us the gross tale of Gorgonzola. You are kind.

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    1. Gordie/Clete: My wife often leaves eggs out of the fridge. I haven’t been in Europe since the 1970s, but I recall being surprised at seeing so many things unrefrigerated, stuff that’s always in the icebox on this side of the Atlantic.

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  2. I used to make cheese when we had our own cows, absolutely delicious compared to NOB cheeses. One of my favorites is requesón, which I spread on muffins in the morning. Or some queso fresco sprinkled on some beans, simply delicious!

    Gringos have an obsession with refrigeration, not sure where that comes from, probably advertising by the greedy power corporations (jeje). Growing up it was normal to leave a lot of stuff out of the refrigeration. In my grandmother’s house she never refrigerated eggs or butter. Meat after dinner or lunch would be on the counter for a few hours before she got around to putting it in wax paper and stowing it in the Frigidaire.

    My theory of all the allergies and stuff kids NOB have now is in direct proportion to when they stopped eating dirt, making mud pies and running around all day without washing their hands every hour or so. You build up immunities which the kids no longer have. You just don’t get the natural bacteria, et al, when your hands are on a video game all day.

    Same thing goes for the meat. Each time we have visitors from NOB, and pass a carnecería they almost die of a stroke. Seeing hanging unrefrigerated meat is something foreign to them. We don’t seem to have any issues with it, and I think live healthier lives down here.

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    1. Tancho: I just found this feedback of yours in the trash can. Cannot imagine how it got there. Apologies!

      I remember the first time I saw unrefrigerated meat in a butcher shop. It was in Spain in the 1970s. I too was taken aback. And now I see it here all the time, and it doesn’t appear to kill anyone, does it?

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  3. The cheese stands alone. When we used to go to Nogales to shop, my mother-in-law used to buy un queso entero. We had to tote along a plastic tub because the thing oozed. It got divided among family when we got home.

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    1. Señor Gill: This thing oozed too. When my wife got home later, she cut it in half, one for the house and the other for her pastry workshop. She wrapped them in paper towels and put them in the fridge to dry, which they would not have done in a plastic bag. It’s not oozing anymore.

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    1. Señor Gill: Even with The Donald being elected president, I am so glad I don’t live in the United States anymore. It’s still sliding downhill. Just a bit slower than before.

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    1. Tastetravel, etc.: Chiapas, eh? That sounds interesting, surely more interesting that Chapala. I’ve never been in Chiapas apart from a week in 1999 on the edge there in Palenque.

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      1. We are in Palenque for another two weeks, then on to San Cristobal de las Casas. This is a cool place. Hardly anyone speaks English here. That is not my main blog, btw, just a place to experiment. Mostly I write about food and restaurants on another site. I wanted to comment on the cheese. I tried to make a simple cheese with store bought milk (LALA, I think) and could not get it to make a curd. I tried twice and then did some research and found that milk sold in the stores in Mexico, even that in the refrigerated section, is ultra pasteurized. This process changes the structure of the protein, making it unusable for making cheese. So, chances are that the cheese made locally is from whole, unpasteurized milk. We have had some good cheese here in Palenque, and while in Tabasco, served as an appetizer and sprinkled with oil, vinegar and herbs.

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