Author Topic: Leche en Guatemala  (Read 908 times)

Offline Curtis2010

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Leche en Guatemala
« on: February 21, 2012, 01:37:18 PM »

I live in a rural area of Guatemala and just started learning to make cheese this past year.  I've learned something interesting about much of the commercially (retail) available milk here -- even if it is labeled as "Leche Entera" (Whole Milk) it has probably had the milk fats removed and replaced with vegetable fats. Trying to make cheese with that results in something like low viscosity white oil...Yuk!

Is this a common practice in other venues?

Fortunately, I discovered a nearby local farm where I can get raw milk. Water access only in the area where I live (no roads) so we made a "milk run" at 5:30AM today via "cayuco" (long boat). No fancy milking machines here -- just a bucket, so I definitely pasteurize it, but it makes yummy cheese.

A few pics attached.







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Offline Caseus

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 10:33:31 PM »
Curtis, that's scary about the vegetable fat milk.  That sounds disgusting.  It's good to hear that you found a local source for whole raw milk.  Of course, having to travel by boat to get it sounds quite arduous. 

The cheese and beer(?) look great.

Good luck to you.  I see you haven't posted since your initial post, so I hope it's because you are busy making cheese!  The geographic type posts don't seem to get as much attention as the rest of the board.

Offline Curtis2010

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 07:06:32 PM »

The veggie fat milk is quite disgusting -- and quite common -- I never noticed until I started making cheese.  Ironically, I can find higher quality (no veggie fat) powdered milk than liquid milk. I learned to make cheese using the higher grade powdered milk, which works but is not idea. The first batch I made with the raw milk was miraculous -- so THAT's what a clean break is supposed to look like!

Traveling by boat is normal -- there are no roads where I live, but we do have to get there quite early to get the fresh milk.

Yes, that's beer in the pic. A very nice German Pilsner.  I also brew beer here in the jungle.


Offline Caseus

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 12:23:11 AM »
I brew beer too.  I just finished a stout, and an English brown mild before that.  Beer, cheese, wine, bread, sausage ... those simple pleasures are so often the most satisfying. 

It sounds like you live in a fascinating area.  It sounds remote.  Are there any good local cheeses available?

What kinds of cheeses were you able to make from powdered milk?

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 05:13:33 AM »
Maybe you can become the jungle's cheesemaking (sort of like the village's cheesemaker) :)
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 10:29:15 AM »
And I thought driving 30 miles (on the freeway at 70 mph) was a pain :P
Maybe next time I will walk to get the milk (yah RIGHT) NOT! :o
What won't an artisan cheese maker do for fresh milk?  :P
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Offline Curtis2010

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Re: Leche en Guatemala
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2012, 02:56:59 PM »
I brew beer too.  I just finished a stout, and an English brown mild before that.  Beer, cheese, wine, bread, sausage ... those simple pleasures are so often the most satisfying. 

It sounds like you live in a fascinating area.  It sounds remote.  Are there any good local cheeses available?

What kinds of cheeses were you able to make from powdered milk?

Yes, I think there are quite a few people who make various "brewed foods" like beer & cheese. I am thinking of trying some Trappist beers and cheeses next season -- one of their traditional cheeses is a beer washed cheese which sounds tasty.

I live on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. Parts of the Rio are a bit remote, but it is a spectacularly beautiful area.

Queso Blanco is quite common here, but not much other than that. This is mostly what I have made from the powdered milks. You can of course buy any kind of cheese you want in Guatemala City -- which is comparable to any other large international city, but radically different than where I live (rural village of maybe 100 people).