30 Aug2009

cheese3

You’d be forgiven if you thought we had gone on a surgical strike to France to acquire some pungent cheeses over the weekend… But these wonderful cheeses were just a few of the 8 or so varieties that a friend brought back from Davao. Yes, DAVAO! I read about the efforts of a cheesemonger in Davao a year or so ago in a Cebu magazine, and was intrigued, but have never come across their products until this abundance of cheese was delivered to our doorstep courtesy of a very generous friend and fellow food fanatic. Produced by Malagos Farmhouse, I was stunned to see the cheeses up close for the first time. Stunned.

cheese1

Some friends dropped by after dinner so we put some of the cheeses out to taste. From left to right on the top photo, or nearest to furthest in the photo above, are “Pepato” a pepper cheese. A goat blue cheese. A Manchego blue cheese and finally, something they call “Blush”.

cheese2

Isn’t this just amazing? All made in Davao? Wow! We also got some fresh goat’s cheese, some ricotta, and other goodies. While our friend liked the “Pepato” flavored cheese, it was personally my least favorite of the four on the platter photographed here. My absolute favorite was the Manchego blue cheese which was a little harder than the others, tasted like a younger Manchego yet with the blue twist. I also liked the goat blue cheese, which was drier and a bit crumbly. The “blush” was the creamiest and softest of the selection, but would have ranked 3rd out of the 4 on offer.

cheese4

We didn’t have any saltines or plainer crackers in the house, so we served these with sweeter wheatmeal crackers, not an ideal pairing. Some chopped dried fruit was also placed on the platter. Overall, everyone who tasted the cheeses this evening were very impressed, and so surprised that these were locally made. The Malagos Farmhouse website (link up top) lists some of the places in Manila where you can buy these cheeses, and I strongly recommend you go out and try a few of their products. The more we encourage artisanal producers like Malagos, the better for the local food scene overall. Thank you M for sending all of the goodies for us to taste and savor!

cheese5

 

COMMENTS:

  1. natie says:

    oh they look scrumptious! finally, from our own backyard…

    Aug 30, 2009 | 10:25 pm

     
  2. Mari says:

    That is interesting… a Manchego blue cheese! Nice spread… next time I visit Manila, will try to look for these cheeses.
    Thanks MM!

    Aug 30, 2009 | 10:59 pm

     
  3. Mom-Friday says:

    i’m only familiar with goat cheese but I’ve long wanted to try a ‘sampler’ cheese platter given the chance, yum yum on crackers! And I can’t believe these all came from Malagos! I’ve been there in the past – some 10 years ago? But we only got to tour the gardens, and it’s beautiful. Looking forward to visit Davao again soon.

    Aug 30, 2009 | 11:38 pm

     
  4. Divina says:

    That’s awesome cheese and they’re locally made.

    Aug 30, 2009 | 11:54 pm

     
  5. Mila says:

    I think that’s the same farm that has been providing ricotta, quesong puti and goat cheese at the cheese club events. A friend told me she got to try their cheddar and it was pretty good. Yay for independent cheesemakers!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:03 am

     
  6. chrisb says:

    Those cheeses look great, congratulations to Malagos! Never thought the day would come. Hopefully, sometime soon our collective idea of cheese would be those that you featured here MM, not the processed “cheese food” so abundant in supermarkets.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:29 am

     
  7. Bong says:

    Wow, locally made cheese! That is so cool! I wish Malagos all the best and I hope that their business will thrive and a lot more Filipinos will buy their products. After all, why buy imported when it’s available in your own backyard esp if it has the Market Man seal of approval!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:49 am

     
  8. k. ramos says:

    OMG sa Davao ra na?? Di ko katuo…. Mupalit jud ko inig uli nako karong sembreak… Sa Agdao ra pud ilang location, at least di na ko magbiyahe-biyahe pa paadtug Calinan… Yes, sosyalan na keso hehehe :D

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:51 am

     
  9. FestiveRebel says:

    I had a peek at their website and I’m quite impressed with their operations. We’ve recently visited a farm in Sorrento, Italia and were given a tour of their facilities, where they make mozarella, pepperoni, wine and limoncello among others. We’ve sampled some of their products and were shown the animals and fruit trees where they harvest their products from. Just looking at the Malagos farm website it looks like they have a comparable setup, although I must admit the Malagos farmhouse looks more sanitized, maybe because its a newer facility? Anyway extra income can come their way by opening up their doors for tourists like what they are doing in Sorrento. One suggestion though why don’t they call their Manchego bluecheese, “Davachego” or “Malachego”? That way they won’t be confused from the original La Mancha cheeses. Maybe they do use the culture from that region, but again from what I saw in their site they use goat’s milk rather than sheep’s milk? Oops better end this my rebel side is taking over my festive mood.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:52 am

     
  10. deirdregurl says:

    wow, Made in Davao..nakaka proud! :D

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:10 am

     
  11. Chowhound says:

    Cheese from Davao, as in real cheese. Wow, this is amazing! Good job, way to go Malagos Farm.

    Thanks for featuring this Mr. Market Man.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:34 am

     
  12. zena says:

    Wow, this is exciting news for foodies! Good cheeses locally made. May Malagos Farm thrive in their endeavour as it benefits not just the consumers but their employees and (milk) suppliers as well.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:47 am

     
  13. betty q. says:

    Wow! am really impressed! Ms. Malagos…I sincerely hope you can come up with the cheddar cheeses that are smoked…maybe using Pinoy fruit wood. That would really be awesome!

    Then using the wild strawberrries from the foothills of Mt. Kanlaon…wine making in full throttle!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:59 am

     
  14. jtan says:

    brilliant. we are truly an agricultural country and with grass-fed livestock, perfectly sustainable slow food.

    next, a charcuterie plate!

    have you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma? eye-opening and the philippines is better shape than other “developed countries”.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:33 am

     
  15. sister says:

    Impressive. Kudos for even attempting to make these cheeses. The Manchego bleu sounds like a strange hybrid but hey, you never know what might become popular. Are they raw milk or pasteurized?

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:35 am

     
  16. Vicky Go says:

    I love Blue Cheese!!! prefer the softer, creamier type, though. Love to eat them w fresh fruits – tart ones are good combi. Better than crackers or flat breads or bread sticks.
    So happy, there are good home made cheeses we can be proud of.

    Off topic: MM, for ideas re website set-up, I’m referring you to the blog site of “The Amateur Gourmet”:
    http://www.amateurgourmet.com/

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:47 am

     
  17. Toping says:

    Hmm… M’s been raving about her trip to Davao on Facebook, but I don’t think she mentioned the cheese there (if this is the same M at all). Maybe she wanted it to be a surprise. Wonderful, in any case.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 5:43 am

     
  18. bagito says:

    Awesome! Makes me proud. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ‘to. Good luck and all the best to the folks at Malagos Farmhouse!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 6:41 am

     
  19. jtan says:

    agree with festiverebel. they should name their cheese with provenance and acknowledge ‘terroire’. Otherwise, they will always look/taste like second rate wannabees.
    ie: parmegiano-manchego; blue cheese-gorgonzola etc.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 7:28 am

     
  20. alicia says:

    Read about Malagos Cheese and have wanted to try them. Now that I know they meet your approval (ha ha) will definitely order some. Love the presentation MM! I have a Manila phone number for Pieco foods in Makati that sell/distribute the Malagos cheese. Not sure if these numbers are still good, they are 892-8286 or 752-3330. Posting in case anyone in Manila/Makati wants to try some. I think they are on Pasong Tamo.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 7:33 am

     
  21. Beth says:

    This is exciting for the local market!We should really support these to encourage entrepreneurs to experiment and develop new products.I like your cheese platter presentation.What kind of leaves did you use to put the cheese on?

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:16 am

     
  22. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Awesome!!! Heard about them a while back and this just gives me more reason to encourage the diary people here in Cebu to start producing artisinal cheese from the milk they produce.

    Right now, the supply of cows milk here in Cebu is not enough to supply the fresh milk requirements of Metro Cebu. As it is, they even import raw milk from negros and northern mindanao. So if anyone is interested in going into dairy farming or helping farmers procure more cows, the opportunities are still aplenty.

    And there is practically no one raising goat for milk!!! All the goats here are raised for meat.

    So guys (and gals) as you can see, the opportunities are aplenty.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:17 am

     
  23. mdg says:

    great job malagos…more power to you! Philippines can really be 1 of the best tourist destination for food lovers…not to mention our great destinations.

    Better visit alabang to be able to try the cheese…

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:30 am

     
  24. Gerry says:

    I love Malagos cheese, especially the chevre. They also sell fantastic haricot verts in Seedling Bank here in QC. It’s the thin kind and sells for P220 per kilo.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:33 am

     
  25. odie says:

    Galing naman ng Malagos Farm!!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:49 am

     
  26. betty q. says:

    Yeah…Artisan! Get going!!! Wish you can come up with something close to PIAVE! Carabao’s milk makes awesome cheeses too! There is local dairy farmer here who has a water buffalo herd and makes award-winning cheeses using water buffalo milk! I have tried to buy just the milk but nothing doing! They use it for making their cheese!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 8:59 am

     
  27. millet says:

    happy to see Olive P’s cheeses highlighted here. and there’s more where they came from. they have nice preserves and wine, too. and many more goodies everywhere in davao. how about a davao weekend, MM?

    Aug 31, 2009 | 9:07 am

     
  28. Marketman says:

    millet, I would love to do a davao weekend before the end of the year. And as six degrees of separation always seems to kick in in the Philippines, it seems my first cousin was married to a P before she sadly passed away at a very young age. Beth, the cheese is resting on betel leaves, which I snipped from a robust plant we have in the garden… Alicia, thanks for the contact details!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 9:20 am

     
  29. joyce says:

    this is great news. artisanal cheese! on hindsight one wonders why it took this long for an idea like this to begin in the phils. i used to buy local mozzarella cheese made in los banos for sandwiches and the like, they were okay,but were still paled in comparison to fresh mozzarella flown in from abroad. googling malagos farmhouse now.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 10:10 am

     
  30. joyce says:

    curious, did you guys have wine with the cheese tasting?

    Aug 31, 2009 | 10:16 am

     
  31. Marketman says:

    joyce, there was some wine, but not a conscious pairing. There isn’t much cheese typically in hot tropical countries, at least not cheese of this sort, as these used to age in cool dry temperatures more common to temperate countries.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 10:29 am

     
  32. millet says:

    great news, MM. would love to bring you around. am just an e-mail away.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 10:58 am

     
  33. Susie says:

    MM, you would love their farm in Davao. Between their horticultural and gastronomic ventures, you do have lots to keep you occupied! They have a flower/plant outlet on Pasay Road where you can also get the cheese. I order fresh eucalyptus and poinsettias from them over Christmas..they just ship to Cebu. The P’s are great entrepreneurs.

    Artisan, there is a young man from Danao who has set up a vermicast business using goat dung. He is breeding his goats up for dairy purposes. Met him at the organic farming seminar last week.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 11:49 am

     
  34. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM,
    Aside from the cheese, Piecofoods (PIECO Building, 2242 Chino Roces Avenue) also distributes the vanilla beans. Look for Karin. Tel. +63 2 892 3286 Tel. +63 2 752 3330 to 32

    Susie, good to know that someone is raising goats for dairy. I’ll give him a call. I still have some rennet and starters that I would like to try with goats milk.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 12:49 pm

     
  35. GayeN says:

    This is great news indeed! I read about Olive Puentespina’s inteview with Yummy mag September issue. So glad artisan cheese is now available locally.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:26 pm

     
  36. Lex says:

    Artisan Chocolatier, Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, Karin no longer sells vanilla beans. Her uncle was the partner in this business and marketed this product well. When the vanilla beans were finally distributed all over the gourmet shops and did very well, the partner pulled suddenly left Piecofoods out in the cold. Sad turn of events.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:49 pm

     
  37. Cherie says:

    I also bought some feta cheese from their booth at the recent World Food Expo. They’re quite good and locally made pa!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 2:57 pm

     
  38. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Lex, whoa!!! Sad turn of events indeed!!!! Will have to start looking for another source of vanilla beans as my stock is running low. Christmas is just around the corner.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 3:51 pm

     
  39. Maricel says:

    Just bought a copy of the September issue of Yummy Magazine they are featured in it. MS. Olive Puentespina recounts how she started making cheese and also gives a recipe for her blue cheese.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 5:49 pm

     
  40. homebuddy says:

    Wow,that’s good news! Another laurel for Davao! We cannot even have enough fruits to carry home, now there’s cheese to add!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 5:56 pm

     
  41. Ging says:

    Artisan,

    lots of people in Cebu raising goats milk. Unfortunately they don’t know much what to do with it. They recount stories of drinking some of it themselves and feeding the rest to the dogs!!

    Susie,

    was that the organic fArming seminar in Cebu last week? I missed it because of work. Had my mooma attend in my place instead. Sayang gyud.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 9:27 pm

     
  42. Christina says:

    Wonderful stuff, MM!

    I just love Davao. Mindanao is so agriculturally rich. IMO it has so much potential as hub for things like organic farming, artisinal fresh foods, and ecotourism. Instead its reputation is all sensationalist Abu Sayyaf stuff. A shame, since it has so much to offer that people don’t know about.

    Thanks for sharing MM, I will definitely check out this farm next time I visit Davao!

    Aug 31, 2009 | 9:56 pm

     
  43. paolo says:

    i checked their website and was also impressed! congratulations to Malagos Farmhouse and i will try their products when im in manila .

    Sep 1, 2009 | 10:01 am

     
  44. Cecilia says:

    Even though I’m not in the Philippines, but I am so happy to learn of this farm and their products! I checked-out their website through your link above, and it seems impressive indeed. Very curious about the Manchego bleu. Thank you, MM, for this post!

    Sep 1, 2009 | 12:28 pm

     
  45. Anna Banana says:

    I’m going home to Davao in two weeks and will drop by their Agdao office then. Thanks for this info MM, I’ll surprise my Dad who lives in Davao about this find haha!

    Sep 1, 2009 | 2:12 pm

     
  46. Marketman says:

    I just had a lunch time salad with ripe tomatoes, chunks of goat blue cheese and some other veggies with a vinaigrette and it was SUPERB. :)

    Sep 1, 2009 | 4:23 pm

     
  47. ENYA says:

    Thank you much for the mention, Maricel and GayeN.:)

    Yes, MM, there’s a 4-page article about Olive Puentespina and her cheeses in the September ’09 issue of YUMMY magazine. We visited her last July and had a wonderful time chatting with her and sampling her delicious products. She and her husband Dr. Bo are doing an amazing job, from taking care of the goats and cows in their farm in Malagos to making the cheeses in Agdao, Davao City. Her products are available in the Cheese Room of Wine Depot in Alabang. You may reach Ms. Olive P. through this number: 0917-7001205.

    While at it, i-plug ko na rin that there’s also an 8-page article about Davao fruits–Durian, Pomelo, pineapple, cacao, guapple; plus marang, mangosteen, morado banana, etc. In the same issue is a special feature about Bicol’s gata dishes.

    Enjoy!:)

    Sep 1, 2009 | 4:25 pm

     
  48. evelyn says:

    we’ll go & check out their Alabang outlet. Thanks for the info.
    More power to you, Mr. MM

    Sep 1, 2009 | 5:01 pm

     
  49. Marketfan says:

    Wow, super impressed. Sayang they didn’t make cheese yet when we visited the farm in Davao about two years ago. But I remember they already had goat’s milk in their restaurant. MM, go visit this Sept because most of their fruits are in season and they come really cheap at this time. Lanzones for P20 or less and lots of mangosteen for your jams. That’s also where I saw the mini cucurbitas or gourds or pumpkins which make really nice decor for Halloween. Is it only in Alabang where they have the cheese, according to their website? I hope they also bring some to QC. Traffic in SLEX is something you wouldn’t want to wish even to your enemies!

    Sep 1, 2009 | 8:43 pm

     
  50. Olive P. Puentespina says:

    Dear Sir,

    I would like to thank you for featuring the cheeses that I make and sharing your “find” to others. The response in truly heartwarming and encouraging. Mindanao has so much untapped resources, we just have to harness them, starting with the hardworking people of the South. Your medium also encourages patronizing local produce. In my opinion, that will really help propel this country forward, Proudly Filipino!

    My very best personal regards,

    Olive Panaligan Puentespina

    Sep 2, 2009 | 3:00 pm

     
  51. Marketman says:

    Olive, you are most welcome. I am happy to bring wonderful products like yours to the blog and its readers. And yes, I love to feature the wonderful products that are locally made…

    Sep 2, 2009 | 8:57 pm

     
  52. betty q. says:

    MarketFan: ..that is sooooooo funny…”the traffic….on your enemies!” It isn’t 24/7 like that, is it?

    Sep 3, 2009 | 4:12 am

     
  53. Mary Ann says:

    delicious cheese !!! where can I find a local supplier in Manila who sells goats cheese ???? need that particular cheese for my bazaar at THE FORT !!!!

    BTW , anyone interested to join our bazaar aptly titled ” THE BAZAAR ” at the Trion Towers located at 8th ave. cor Mckinley
    Parkay road , the Fort .

    Please email me for interested participants. You can sell anything and everything !!!!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 2:52 pm

     
  54. malagosgardenresort says:

    Malagos Farm and Garden Resort is currently producing 16 kinds of cheese. You can also join us for the Malagos Farm Fair on August 7 & 8, and personally witness as many as 300 dairy goats showcases at one time. Aside from that, you can also join the seminar on Cheese in the Philippines by Olive Puentespina.

    Jul 19, 2010 | 5:06 pm

     
  55. Jun Castro says:

    Passed by the Deli of Rustan’s at Rockwell and got very surprised at the offering of Malagos Cheeses from Davao. I was intrigued by this very fine pack of Blush, and I must say, it was truly a revelation that this cheese for me ranks with some of the best soft european cheeses I’ve had. Fantastico. The lady beside me, who bought many different kinds of cheeses, remarked that she is from Davao and she says that it is something she is proud of. Way to go, Malagos. (Incidentally, it’s midnight, and I am having quite a big slice of the cheese with saltines… yum).

    Jul 26, 2010 | 12:53 am

     
 

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