03 Dec2006

balls1

Yup, I got my balls for the holidays. Two nice hefty red specimens. If you saw the new Bond flick, you’d understand why 007 would probably be in the market for some balls as well. :) Mine are slickly wrapped in paraffin, are equally oily and have a pungent odor. Oddly one sits up higher than the other, and though both are spherical, they are uniquely shaped and balls2unlike the other. Bloody salty, they are, and at PHP698 for one and PHP682 for the other, a serious investment, if you ask me… But the use-by-date says they won’t expire until 16 months from now… Heeheehee. Please, TAKE NO OFFENSE at this silly post. It’s just that I have come home from the grocery with two, 1.5 kilo, queso de bolas in preparation for all of the holiday baking and cooking. I did a fairly exhaustive post on Queso de Bola last year, comparing several brands of QdB, complete with taste test and results. These balls will likely end up shredded on top of our homemade ensaimadas, or at a later stage, in some cheese pimiento. Yes, Marketman is prepping for the holidays and I’ve got my fresh balls to prove it. Heeheehee.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Traci says:

    i love QdB – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it! my mom and i eat it the whole year through – slipped into hot pan de sal in the morning it’s an easy treat.. after a rich meal it makes a good dessert along with some fruit.

    it’s also one of the things my relatives in the U.S. ask for at least once each year i visit – i suspect they eat it the same way (with a more difficult search for the pan de sal!)

    Dec 3, 2006 | 7:46 pm

     
  2. millet says:

    now, that’s what i call serious christmas stuff. my kids love to slice queso de bola, microwave it very briefly and toss the drippy, gooey mess on toasted slices of baguette. it’s one of their yummy discoveries that has become everybody’s favorite breakfast everyday throughout the holiday season.

    Dec 3, 2006 | 8:27 pm

     
  3. det says:

    iplan to make some bibingka this christmas but i cant find quesong puti here in florida,what kind of cheese can i use as a substitute?PLEASE HELP!

    Dec 3, 2006 | 11:45 pm

     
  4. tulip says:

    We used to buy Marca Pina Queso de Bola by boxes every Christmas season and give it away in basket goodies among employees & expat friends. Just this sunday morning, I was in Megamall and spotted the boxes of red balls! I also had bought Marca Pina and Pato. But if I remember it right, it was worth almost Php 800/piece! I decided not to buy few more since it is available in some supermarkets all year round and is cheaper after the season.
    By the way, I got news from SM that they’ll have few weekend food booths at some of their supermarkets. I checked it out sunday morning and at the SM Megamall, there’s KG’s Kitchen, Kookai’s Delicacies , Polland (Hopia maker) and Dolor’s Kakanin. There were interesting must try food items!

    Dec 4, 2006 | 12:59 am

     
  5. Kieran says:

    Its pungency aside, this cheese’s versatility is amazing. I would grate it over fresh pasta or whenever a recipe calls for Parmagiano-Reggiano. Along with Gruyere, it makes an excellent fondue and mac n’ cheese. And when it comes to cheese sticks, it beats out any sharp cheddar around.

    However, my ultimate favorite way of enjoying this wonderful cheese is with pears and apples. Pair it with a nice glass of Dolcetto and I am in heaven!

    Dec 4, 2006 | 2:50 am

     
  6. fried-neurons says:

    Was never a fan of queso de bola. Although.. mimolette seems very similar to it, and I like mimolette…

    Dec 4, 2006 | 8:05 am

     
  7. consol says:

    oh yeaaaaahh … if there’s anything that screams ‘CHRISTMAS’ it’s the bloody red queso de bola. pungent odor aside, i absolutely love, love, LOVE the stuff! if i had my druthers, i would have QdB all year round: paper-thin, in chunks, tiny blocks, with butter-smothered toast, grated on hot pasta, whatever … but alas and alack, there are cholesterol levels to check, among others, waaaaaaah! moderation is key.

    i always ensure there’s some QdB around during christmas and new year, but each year the price rises (and consequently, in outrage, so does my BP hehe). my husband has an ambivalent attitude towards it, my daughter took one sniff and refused to touch it, but my son takes after me and nibbles, nibbles away like a mouse (that is, after the initial nose-wrinkling at the stinky-cheese odor). heigh-ho, heigh-ho, off to the grocers i go! (to get them balls before they disappear from the shelves). and yes, marca pina it must be, though after checking your extensive blog on QdB i will finally be brave enough to try marca pato.

    you naughty, naughty MM! or, er, is it me and my little evergreen mind? and i hope there won’t be any ruffled feathers or puritanical squawks of protest at such ‘shocking’ language; far worse in tabloids and media. (and by the way, all those ‘heeheehee’s’ remind me of the evil stepmother-cum-witch in ‘snow white.’ don’t be offended, please; i actually like your ‘heeheehees ’cause they do liven up the post when one starts to take it rather seriously.) silly post or not, your blog is addictive. you make my day, really really (ala-donkey in ‘shrek’). thank you so much from someone who wishes she has the time, resources, strength and will to cook as well as you do. maybe one precious, finally leisurely day … (yeah, right!)

    p.s. forgive those references to cartoons. i have young children kaya i am young at heart din heeheehee! ;-)

    Dec 4, 2006 | 8:22 am

     
  8. linda says:

    I luv qdb,luv cheese pimiento,and most of all,I luv yr humour!

    Dec 4, 2006 | 9:06 am

     
  9. Lei says:

    Just to add, my hubby collects all the wax/paraffin and later
    on molds it different shapes and just places it on the table beside QdB! Sometimes starts a good conversation topic hehehe!

    Dec 4, 2006 | 9:25 am

     
  10. joey says:

    Hahahaha! This post it too funny! :)

    We use shredded QdB in our spinach artichoke dip…

    Dec 4, 2006 | 9:40 am

     
  11. anonymous paul says:

    you have to separate the milk with a coagulating agent. vinegar, for example, is what the indians use to make paneer. esentially they add in the vinegar to full fat milk, let it curdle, strain the solids in a cheese cloth and that’s prolly the simplest form of cheese you can make. where other cheeses differ generally lies in the various curing and ageing processes. (i.e. smoking, compressing, injecting bacteria, etc) or type of milk used

    QdB is one of my favorite cheeses. partially bec i grew up christmastimes with it. more so bec of its texture and its bold flavor. i have to dissagree with the magnolia variety, though. leaves too much to be desired. (i.e bitin)

    the dutch should really start wrapping these in gold foil though to match its skyrocketing price

    Dec 4, 2006 | 12:01 pm

     
  12. MrsA says:

    i use Qdb in making my quiches and it so makes the difference….

    Dec 4, 2006 | 12:38 pm

     
  13. chocnut says:

    how do you store this so it will last for at least 6 months? i wrap cut wedges in saran wrap and it always dries up. any suggestions?

    Dec 4, 2006 | 1:06 pm

     
  14. tulip says:

    aridelros, it’s actually easy to make cheese. Done that in my chemistry class during college but there are other processes that might be tedious to do at home. So we better settle for those available in the market.
    For a bibingka, I think mozzarella di bufala can be used?

    Dec 4, 2006 | 4:00 pm

     
  15. Mila says:

    The 16 month expiration date hasn’t lapsed yet! Whoohoo, I can probably still use that half a ball of Qdb in my refrigerator from xmas last year. It’s as hard as a rock, if I tried to use it to catch a mouse, the mouse would need dentures.

    One of the comments reminded me of the time I searched high and low for Qdb in Los Angeles for xmas, to bring a bit of the pinoy xmas experience to my first year of college. Only to find that their Edam was not like the Edam sent from Holland to Pinas, salted and aged just for our palates. One of those lifetime learning moments.

    Dec 4, 2006 | 4:55 pm

     
  16. Mon C says:

    For those looking for a slightly milder flavor and aroma than Marca Pina and Pato, but not as bitin as Magnolia, try Dutch Master. The supply’s pretty erratic though. Got our season’s supply at Makati Supermarket, last October.

    Dec 4, 2006 | 5:01 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    Mon C, if you get an original aged edam it is much milder and more flavorful (less salt) than our QdB version. Actually, our QdB is from Holland, it is specially formulated for the Philippine market and a lot more salt and preservatives are added so that it can last several months. The old story goes (probably apocryphal) that when the cheese came over on old galleons/ships, the stores of cheese very getting sea water all over them and eventually when they were eaten here, they tasted much saltier than normal. I’m not so sure how tru that is but it makes a good story. chocnut, try wrapping it in a clean damp cloth or paper towels, stick it in a plastic ziplock bag and return to the fridge for it to hydrate a bit. If that doesn’t work, just grate it and use it as a toping for ensaimada or for cheese pimiento spread… det, you might want to try a dryish ricotta salata from an Italian delicatessen…it’s white, more solid than ricotta and salty…it might work.

    Dec 4, 2006 | 6:03 pm

     
  18. Nel says:

    Love QDB! Already gone through 2 couple of smaller balls… and to think that only my wife and I share it! Yes, it’s a good replacement for parmesean(?) cheese… Salty is goooood… Marca Pato and Pina are the best I’ve tasted so far. The Magnolia stuff seem to be just the usual cheese in a ball shape

    Dec 4, 2006 | 6:27 pm

     
  19. Marketman says:

    Yes, I have to agree that the Magnolia is not a good option…I wrote that in my review last year. It is also more a cheese food approach, kinda like velveeta… it’s the reason it is also less than half the price…

    Dec 4, 2006 | 6:56 pm

     
  20. Ted says:

    I just bought a small ball of marca pina ($15) last Thanksgiving and we’ve polished it off with “hot pandesal” in just 2 sittings ;-) I have not tried the “marca pato” brand for they are not available here in the San Francisco bay area. I’ve seen the big balls of the pina for $25 over the weekend at “seafood city” although I don’t think I would be buying it there. They seem to freeze their balls and it tends to crumble once you slice them. I always look for the balls that don’t have moisture in the wrappings, for that would be a sign that they were not frozen.

    And I haven’t seen the Magnolia brand here yet. I’ll make sure to look the other way if they show up at the shelves.

    Since these balls are only out during Thanksgiving to Xmas, I’m relagated to buying the canned Kraft Cheddar cheese that are made in the PI when I yearn for the salty cheese.

    Dec 6, 2006 | 7:37 am

     
  21. tulip says:

    Potassium sorbate is usually incorporated in any cheese processing in little amounts and wouldnt most possibly cause the saltiness. It is actually used to lengthen shelf life: to prevent growth of fungi.

    Dec 6, 2006 | 4:59 pm

     
  22. Jacqui says:

    Reading this post evokes memories of my Lola and I drinking hot cocoa and eating slices of MP QDB with piping hot pan de siosa from the neighborhood bakery for merienda. I miss those days of old back home.

    Although my palate has been introduced to other (connoisseurs may say better) Edam and cheddar cheeses here in San Francisco and I have my favorites that I buy from Bristol Farms and Whole Foods (and the generic extra sharp cheddar cheese at our local Albertson’s), nothing still beats MP QDB for me.

    Some Asian supermarkets in the usual Bay Area cities with a predominantly Filipino population carry the Piña and Pato brands. I am just not too sure if they carry it the whole year round. I saw some at the Manila Oriental in Daly City once. Saw it too at Goldilocks in South San Francisco last Christmas. I think it was selling at around $15 for the small one.

    Now, I have to go and find out. Reading all these makes me crave for an Edam fix!

    Dec 8, 2006 | 2:59 am

     
  23. crissy says:

    That reminds me, we don’t have any QdB yet in our pantry. During Christmas, they like to melt it like raclette cheese. Then they’ll eat it with crackers. The cheese alone is a salty, oily temptation.

    Nov 14, 2007 | 9:24 am

     
  24. Nina says:

    This is for det regarding the kesong puti substitute for bibingka: You can try Greek feta cheese or Danish-style “feta” cheese which is creamier than the Greek feta. I’ve tried both and they’re both good. I think these are made from goat’s milk.

    Nov 14, 2007 | 11:00 am

     
 

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