Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mexican Adventures in Cheese-buying

For this first installment from Mexico, I wanted to show you in pictures the terrible selection of cheese at commercial outlets. This, however, it is in no way a representation of the nascent artisanal cheese industry in the country. In the coming days, I will be blogging about cheese produced in Mexico that is of great quality and you should look for.

The two first pictures are the selections from Comercial Mexicana (Col. Mixoac) and the second two are from Walt-Mart Superama (Col. Napoles), while I did find an organic option at the subsidiary of Walt-Mart and a cheese flavored with Nogada, everything is pre-packaged making all their cheese to taste plastic in the outside and impeding any maturation that may have turn both cheeses into very interesting options.

These two commercial outlets cater to the middle and upper middle class in Mexico and therefore seek to offer more "variety." The problem is that most Mexicans are still new to cheese and buy anything that is available even if not of the best quality. For those reading this in the rest of North American, the situation here is similar of that of Canada and the US back in the late 70s and early 80s, when people there started looking for fine food options but the only products available where those produced by conglomerates.

Cheesers in DF are starting to go back to local markets and tianguis to buy from the puestos that source crema and queso from local ranchers in the nearby states.

The last picture is from smaller outlet. El Capricho Gourmet is a little store that I used to consult for, but since has change ownership and its still looking its niche. Their cheese selection is respectable but lacks a knowledgeable monger to care and sell their cheese.

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