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Yup.... you can get heavy cream at Super Maxi for sure ! I make quiche with it. Very heavy and rich.

DorothyPeck :

It is official! Cheese is addictive. This story was published in the Los Angeles Times....

Your cheese addiction has been validated by science.

The Today Show, which is shown daily Monday-Friday via DirecTV in Ecuador, picked up this "dairy crack" item in its What's Trending segment.

Four of the five Today Show personalities at the cheese-tray segment said they'd sooner give up chocolate than cheese.

The fifth, Savannah Guthrie, eventually agreed, saying you could substitute something sweet for chocolate, "But there's only one cheese."

Al Roker recalled that "my mom used to make a great open-faced Velveeta grilled-cheese sandwich with tomato."

That sounds delicious here in cheese-challenged Ecuador although Velveeta is not considered high-brow stuff in North America. 

We miss Velveeta and a sandwich like Al's Mom used to make.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese Desk in Quito

Velveeta has its place in the world, no matter its credentialed *cheese* failings. Mac and cheese starring Velveeta, is smooth and delicious.  :thanks:

Make apologies for no cheese, they are all worthy. It's just that Ecuador needs more than just the one, queso blanco. One cheese is just no way not enough.

Hi are you saying that you can only get 1 kind of cheese in Cuenca/Ecuador?
Queso Blanco is all the option There is???????????  Please tell me I am wrong.

Things have actually improved since Top Cat has visited, as documented on this thread.

There's a growing variety of cheeses -- though not equalling what you'd find in upscale North American supermarkets -- now available at Ecuador's top stores such as my favorite, MegaMaxi Six in Quito.

I even bought Brie there this week.

If you go to a mom 'n pop store, however, all you may find is queso blanco and more queso blanco.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese Desk in Quito

That is great for Quito but what about Cuenca.  Quito is far to go from Cuenca for cheese.  It does not have to be upscale just regular cheese!

At #28,

ZenSPIKE wrote: I did find a source for fantastic cheese here in Cuenca. His Blue Cheese is as good as any I've had. ... He carries a large assortment of cheese.... If interested, I'll dig out his card.

I haven't seen him give the details yet of where this "fantastic cheese...in Cuenca" is to be found. I'm still planning to bring a quantity with me when I come in late February. Just don't want to take any chances.

DorothyPeck :

At #28,

ZenSPIKE wrote: I did find a source for fantastic cheese here in Cuenca. His Blue Cheese is as good as any I've had. ... He carries a large assortment of cheese.... If interested, I'll dig out his card.

I haven't seen him give the details yet of where this "fantastic cheese...in Cuenca" is to be found. I'm still planning to bring a quantity with me when I come in late February. Just don't want to take any chances.

Hate to see anyone go through cheese withdrawal in a foreign country.

mugtech wrote:

Hate to see anyone go through cheese withdrawal in a foreign country.

I might need to find a 12-step Cheese Addicts Anonymous group in Cuenca if I run out of cheese.

It is horrible any time/place been there done that!

ZenSPIKE :

I did find a source for fantastic cheese here in Cuenca...

He carries a large assortment of cheese....If interested, I'll dig out his card.

Interested?

I'll say they're interested.

Dig out that card, Zen, before premature cheese withdrawal claims any of these cheese-lovin' posters!

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese Desk in Quito

OMG!! Davinna, a new member gave a link on a thread about cider vinegar & coconut oil which might be an answer to the prayers of multiple members: Enrico Fradanno Il, real, gourmet cheese

Real Italian cheese and he'll deliver to your home!!! Perhaps this is the one of whom ZenSPIKE wrote.

This guy found the cheese!

Foch Plaza in La Mariscal, Satudays only. He says they have everything.

http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/qu … day/35317/

gardener1 :

This guy found the cheese!

Foch Plaza in La Mariscal, Saturdays only.

http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/qu … day/35317/

The on-camera speaker is a budget traveler and couch-surfer named Marco who claims that this moveable vendor, Il Formaggio (Italian for "the cheese"), offers European-style "hand-made" cheeses operating in the open space at Foch Plaza.

They are "always there" every Saturday, he claims.

Marco's website is marcoslocaladventures.com, but don't expect to find any cheese information on the website.

cccmedia at the Expat cheese desk in Quito

Not sure if this has place has been mentioned yet, but ran across an interesting article on cheese in Salinas de Bolivar. Sounds like it could be a decent place to get a cheese fix.

http://capitolsouthbound.com/2012/10/13 … f-ecuador/

Here’s some more information about the brie I mentioned in passing in Report 45 of this thread from October.

The soft cheese brie -- named for a region of France -- is now produced around the world, and a quality brie has been available on the shelves at Megamaxi Six* in north Quito.

The cow’s-milk product with edible rind is being sold under the Scheidegger brand in a 200 gram size (7 ounces).  The label says it was elaborado (produced) by Floralp company in Ibarra, Ecuador.  It does not indicate the home location of Scheidegger, which was also not found in an Internet search.

* "Megamaxi 6” is located on 6 de Diciembre at the Benalcazar stop of the Ecovía bus line.  The main cheese section is at one end of the seafood-meats-cheese center at the back of the store.  This ‘center’ also offers the largest choice of fresh seafood and fresh meats sized to customer order of any Maxi store I’ve visited in the capital.  Take a number.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese Desk in Quito

Around two months ago at the Megamaxi on 6 de Diciembre, they had a cheese festival. The lower level and corridor leading to the entrance of the hypermarket had numerous cheese vendors giving out ample samples. It was great, and some of the cheeses were quite good, so I was sold and wanted to buy some then and there. The ladies replied you have to buy inside megamaxi. I replied okay, no problem. So, I went inside, and was at the area CCC described above, but they didn’t have not only one type but two types that I wanted.

After completing my shopping, I went back to the vendors outside, and with my limited Spanish told them hey there’s no more cheese, how about selling me from the stock in your fridge. Some of vendors had fridges behind them with loads of cheese. No puedo!  :joking:

Definitely a logistics problem and it was still morning, so not an issue of cheese being sold out.

From the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night:

The Wall Street Journal just reported that America has a surplus of cheese and that every person in the country would have to eat an extra three pounds of cheese this year to get rid of it. So the next time the pizza guy judges you for ordering extra cheese, just say, "I'm doing this for America."

So those of you still in the USA, please have more extra cheese on my behalf. I didn't realize what effect my moving to Ecuador would do to destabilize cheese consumption.

Jimmy Fallon last night:

The Wall Street Journal just reported that America has a surplus of cheese and that every person in the country would have to eat an extra three pounds of cheese this year to get rid of it. So the next time the pizza guy judges you for ordering extra cheese, just say, "I'm doing this for America."

Much as I enjoy good cheese, there’s something to be said for not overdoing it on pizza.

On my recent trip to pizza-crazed Buenos Aires, Argentina, I could feel the effect on my waistline after one week .. and switched to a more seafood-rich selection for my restaurant meals.

If you wish to cut down on the (sometimes greasy) cheese applied at the pizzería, the operative phrase to your order-taker is poquito queso -- pho-KEE-toh KAY-soh.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese Desk in Quito

Bad cheese news here in PA with international implications.   Two Pennsylvania cheese businesses are being punished for selling grated Swiss and mozzarella cheeses that were fraudulently represented as Parmesan and Romano.  A federal judge sentenced Universal Cheese & Drying and International Packing to three years probation and pay $500,000 for their convictions related to the cheese mislabeling.  Last October, a former executive from the Castle Cheese facility in Slippery Rock which has ceased operations, was fined $5,000 and also given 3 years probation.  Although federal inspection reports had raised questions about whether the cheeses had too much cellulose - a filler made from wood pulp- that wasn't an issue in this case.

AP story in The Morning Call 1/21/17

I think there's a possibility that more cheese products from Europe will make their way to the Ecuadorean market. How am I deducing this? The new trade agreement between Ecuador and the EU which is said to lower prices for many products (especially booze) by as much as 40-60%. Hopefully the lower price imports will cause local products to be cheaper or improve.

As of today prices seem the same, Castello blue cheese from Denmark remains about $4.50 per 100 grams.

vsimple :

Castello blue cheese from Denmark remains about $4.50 per 100 grams.

For those of us still used to Imperial weights and measures and not SI Units, that comes out to over $20 USD per pound...roughly twice as expensive as in the US, or even more.

I want to make fondue, any suggestions for cheese here? The package they sell at super/mega maxi is $8, but it's a local brand.

If that fondue is for a Super Tazón party this evening -- Sunday the fifth of February -- you could be embarking on a doomed mission, given Quito’s falta de queso excelente.

Better to get take-out Chinese .. or better yet, order in some pizzas calientes .. or ask the football fanáticos to each bring a pot luck offering.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese and Coffee Desk
        in Quindío, Colombia

cccmedia :

If that fondue is for a Super Tazón party this evening -- Sunday the fifth of February -- you could be embarking on a doomed mission, given Quito’s falta de queso excelente.

Better to get take-out Chinese .. or better yet, order in some pizzas calientes .. or ask the football fanáticos to each bring a pot luck offering.

cccmedia at the Expat Cheese and Coffee Desk
        in Quindío, Colombia

That’s actually a good idea, but it’ll be dependable pizza. I could never get away with cooking something unique the first time around, especially something like fondue which has its own etiquette.

I’m just interested in making it as I have this little set and upto this point I’ve only used it for veggies and shrimp.

Cheese variety is expanding by the month in Quito. Imported German Swiss cheese, which is called Emmental, is available and costs $8 for 200 gram pack. So that's about $40 a kilogram, or about $18 a pound. Supermaxi at CCI has it. Too rich for me but hopefully the price will decrease over time. It was similar with Pastrami and Roast Beef but then prices dropped to about $5.50 for 200 grams from $9, then again that is locally produced.

I love cheese!!  However it's horrible here.  Finally, now with a new mall, we have more variety.  I used to buy the Swiss cheese when it was $6 or less.  For 2 years its been over $8 & I refuse to buy it anymore.  I have a few recipes I used to use feta for, but less face it....it has sucked ass here.  I've tried a couple brands that have ended up in the trash.  Now I finally found a good brand which is as close to US feta as we can get here.  I bought the last 2 yesterday not realizing they were over $7 a package.  If things don't work out for us in the next couple of months and we stay here, I'm seriously considering going to cheese making school in California.  I could do it, but not sure there's a market here, although I think there is.  My friend has a license for a import/export business and I have contemplated ordering gourmet cheeses and cold cuts from Italy, and selling here.  It would be a huge outlay of capital, and I need to decide if it's worth the money. 

Vsimple, if you don't mind me asking, what type of business are you thinking of opening here?  I don't want to know your secrets, just maybe the industry sector.  Sadly, in going to Reba Smith, the Panama grocery chain, I think their cheese aisle is bigger than the US grocery store aisle.  If I had a trust fund I would franchise with them and compete with super maxi and commisarioto here and would put a huge dent in their business cause I know how inventory and the grocery store business works.  I've also heard there are 2 major families here that control the grocery business and I'm not sure as a US citizen I could win the red tape and govt BS to do so.  However, I don't have the trust fund, and I could make more money going back to work in US.  But if I don't, I wouldn't mind exploring that idea if I could raise the capital to make it work. But that will all depend on the trade agreement Ecuador can come up with the US before it ends at the end of December.  My food palate is out of the realm of what I can get here, I just can't eat rice and soup and cheap meat that's hard to chew.  In Panama, I can even buy Nathan's hot dogs, and I love hot dogs, even tho they aren't good for you, but Boars Head,  Nathan's and Sabrets are my favorites.  I could eat them 3 days a week and never get tired of them. 

For any of you expats that want healthy organic products, there is a store in Panama called Organica.  They have tons of organic products we are used to in the US.  Prices are not as inflated as they are here, and pretty comparable to US prices , they even have a GNC that will use your GNC membership from the US.  Just keep in mind, which I had no clue, travel from here to Panama is not considered international but domestic.  So weight limits on luggage are not the same.  My travel company I booked my flights from, misrepresented that to me.  On my return back at the Panama  airport check in in, Copa tried to charge me over $500 in additional baggage fees.  I watched many gringos in the lines beside me get totally price gouged on the same thing.  I raised hell, as did my husband and told them to f' off and give me back my bags as I refused to pay that and travel.  We had 3 supervisors and an hour and a half at the counter and total BS excuses.  I showed them my online booking and baggage info, but they could care less.  I've had numerous fights flying Copa, thought they were gonna kick us off of one flight, as we demanded to speak to the pilot.  I only have the problem leaving Panama to Miami, never in the return.  I told the check in supervisor that I wanted my bags back and I would fly to the US before I would pay that insane money.  We finally negotiated $280 after I had to calm my husband down before they called security. 

So it's cheaper for me to go to Miami to buy stuff than Panama due to international flight luggage allowances.  But I always pay for an extra bag and sometimes additional weight on top of that.  But I'm loaded down with stuff I can't get here, or stuff that's half the cost of things here.  So in the end I save money. 

This whole debate on the price of eggs in other postings is way cheaper than I can get in manta.  At the local tienda above my house, and the little old man loves me, I pay at least $.15 an egg, regardless how many I buy. 

If the altitude and cooler weather didn't bother me as bad, I would live in Quito,  but I just can't get used to it.  I'm a Florida girl and I need the heat, and the oxygen.  I've not spent enough time to acclimate, but I have problems every time I'm there for several days.  But the city is more my style.  Manta is ok, but I'm bored out of my mind, and my dogs are developing health issues so I can't leave them here to travel or go on vacation.  Btw, so my post isn't so off topic, vet care/grooming is a fraction of the US, but so is the quality of care.  I would pay any amount of money for care (as I have paid thousands in US vet bills), but I think I'm smarter than the vets here.  When they give me a diagnosis and medine treatments, I ask so many questions, that they won't respond, so my dogs are at the point where I either have to fly them back the US or I'm afraid of what will happen.  Now my breed won't be allowed to fly by many airlines, wasn't a problem when I came.  They were young and weighed less.  They would not make the trip in cargo, so now I'm looking into chartering a private plane.   So sometimes it may cheaper to live here, but that's not always a good thing.  And I'm not actually convinced that it is anymore. IMO, don't bring animals here, it's not worth the stress or heartache.  They are the only children I have, and I have a major guilt problem in dealing with their issues and the care I get here.

Again, just my thoughts and experiences I've had here in Manta.  I know it doesn't represent the entire country but I honestly believe it depends on the region of Ecuador you decide to live.  And don't get me wrong, I'm not against living here, just occasionally get tired and over whelmed with the struggles. Today hasn't been a good day for me.

Ecuador could use better quality local cheese. But being situated in Manta might make distribution more challenging. In a big city you can deal with many supermarkets and stores directly. If you develop good relationships with the managers they might even help promote your cheeses. 

There is an artisan cheese producer in Cuenca who I believe has a shop in the city and sells his hand made cheese there. Usually for this kind of business that’s how it starts by selling to the local community provided there is demand, and then expanding.

This is just my opinion as I don’t know much about this particular industry.

As for oxygen levels in Quito, I completely understand because for some people it is a serious issue.

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