09 May2011

Where is Marketman?

by Marketman

I gasped audibly as we were shown into the modern day “cave”. Some 100 or more wheels of Parmiggiano Reggiano and Grana Padano lay napping on the shelves, quietly aging to 30-36 months in chilly conditions. For me, it was better than a visit to the vaults at Fort Knox, this was definitely a foodie’s equivalent of gold, seriously. :) The aroma in the cave was intoxicating. And the sheer value of the stash was mind boggling. At roughly $1,000-1200+ retail per wheel of parmiggiano reggiano, this was worth half a dozen economy sized Toyotas!

Like giant ingots engraved with production dates, they stared back at us screaming possibilities. A simple pomodoro or tomato pasta generously topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. A cheeseboard with small chunks of parmesan to nibble on. A properly made carbonara with guanciale (pig’s cheeks) and lots of parmesan or grana padano or both. A cesare or caesar salad redolent with anchovies and cheese… Ayayay!

Margarita Fores used to have a hollowed up wheel of parmesan in her restaurant pepato. I think she used to mix her pastas or salads in the “bowl” before serving. It was impressive and was burned into my memory banks and I thought about it as soon as I saw these wheels of cheese. At roughly 40 kilos for an entire wheel, it might last four plus years in our household! So it isn’t practical to think of buying a wheel unless you divide it amongst say a dozen friends just before the holidays when you are likely to use more cheese than usual…

We were extremely lucky to be invited by the owners of this establishment to this “cave” as it is definitely off limits to the general public. But you can buy the parmesan either whole or in much more manageable portions at a retail outlet I will feature in another post soon.

So the question is, where is Marketman, and where is this beautiful stash of Parmesan and Grana Padano???



  1. Aji says:

    By any chance are you in Italy, somewhere in Reggio Emilia perhaps?

    May 9, 2011 | 11:02 am


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  3. Jen Laceda says:

    Somewhere in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Parma? Bologna? Modena? Reggio Emilia?

    May 9, 2011 | 11:12 am

  4. natie says:

    I thought you were just home arranging the lovely, yellow calla lillies—now you’re in a “cave” with lovely yellow wheels of cheese!!???hmmmmm

    May 9, 2011 | 11:19 am

  5. zee says:

    wild guess: this is in Manila!
    is this the store on Yakal?

    i remember you posting about it some time ago. i was excitedly anticipating the opening of the retail outlet. was finally able to pass by last week! yum! found the salame more affordable than the other store a few meters down the road.

    May 9, 2011 | 11:47 am

  6. Anne :-) says:

    I’ll go with the same hunch as Zee! :-)

    May 9, 2011 | 11:58 am

  7. ros says:

    It reminded me of the Italian bank Credito Emiliano, accepting wheels of Parmesan from producers as collateral during the late 2000’s financial crisis.

    Hmmm, could this be local? If it is then its good news!

    P.S.: I’ve tried scouring your image uploads, (yeah cheater :P) and a certain delicatessen came up. :)

    May 9, 2011 | 11:58 am

  8. tin says:

    Galileo Enoteca?!?

    May 9, 2011 | 12:00 pm

  9. Lambchop says:

    Hahaha! Ayayay is right! Wow it must have been quite the experience. Mmmmm…yum! :)

    May 9, 2011 | 12:29 pm

  10. ami says:

    Ditto with Zee. You had a post about S&L Fine Foods a couple of months back and you were excited with the cheese wheels

    May 9, 2011 | 1:20 pm

  11. Betchay says:

    I’ll go with Zee.Looks like a local modern temperature controlled cheese storage in…. Makati???
    1.from your mother’s day post I assume you’re here in the country
    2.looks like cheese wheels came from 2 different brands?
    3.I’ve seen at TLC that Italian cheese storage doesn’t look anything like this–low ceiling? with supermarket- like shelves? :)
    If this is really here in the country, I’m simply amaze! Cheese haven! but I do really enjoy your guessing games MM! ;)

    May 9, 2011 | 1:21 pm

  12. Monique says:

    Awwww c’mon MM, don’t keep us in suspense…. Where is this????

    May 9, 2011 | 1:39 pm

  13. ness says:

    The S&L retail outlet is now open? :)

    May 9, 2011 | 1:52 pm

  14. atbnorge says:

    I have a feeling this is inside a 20 ft. refrigirated container. You talked some deli store owner there in the Philippines to let you take a peek, LOLZ, joke only MM.

    May 9, 2011 | 3:52 pm

  15. philip says:

    in QC

    May 9, 2011 | 4:36 pm

  16. sophie says:

    oh my gulay, this is something that cheese lover like me will really salivate. uhmmm i’ll go with Zee the earlier post of a store in Makati? lol!

    May 9, 2011 | 4:53 pm

  17. rosedmd says:

    Somewhere in mandaluyong!, i think that’s a storage for cheese.i remember, you had a post re: mozzarella from a a store in mandaluyong… i saw that cheese wheel of magarita, where she made a pasta dish add wine and ignite.. flambe!!

    May 9, 2011 | 6:22 pm

  18. marilen says:

    La Bella Italia (Parma, Bologna environs)!! Enjoy the holiday, MM and family

    May 9, 2011 | 7:20 pm

  19. paolo says:

    since the cheese are from zanetti, you must be in panocchio or parma.

    May 9, 2011 | 7:22 pm

  20. millet says:

    wherever it is, i want to be there too!

    May 9, 2011 | 9:31 pm

  21. satomi says:

    It looks like a giant refrigerator [similar to what we have here at work]. Somewhere in Makati or Mandaluyong?

    May 9, 2011 | 9:35 pm

  22. Melissa says:

    Where are you???? Stop the torture! Hehehe

    May 9, 2011 | 9:36 pm

  23. josephine says:

    Guess you’re still somewhere in Manila….I remember reading somewhere that even the month of production matters for those who know their parmesan and that those produced in October are usually the best – so maybe check your dates before you buy?

    May 10, 2011 | 12:07 am

  24. thelma says:

    you are in italy….

    May 10, 2011 | 12:38 am

  25. Laurel LT says:

    Hi, MM! Nice pictures. I’m already drooling just looking at those. I think you are somewhere in Italy, souther perhaps. Maybe Parma or Modena or Naples… You are torturing us, MM. Enjoy anyway.

    May 10, 2011 | 12:56 am

  26. michelle h. says:

    I’m guessing Yakal St. too!

    May 10, 2011 | 1:29 am

  27. Footloose says:

    You’re in the throes of opening two restaurants in Cebu so you cannot be out of the country. You probably took this picture in the inner sanctum of a cheesemonger’s stash somewhere in Metro Manila.

    May 10, 2011 | 2:06 am

  28. Willie Cruz says:

    how ’bout the Guffanti Factory in Arona, they have cheese caves,,,,,

    May 10, 2011 | 2:26 am

  29. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    You just discovered that you had this “stashed” in the back of your walk in chiller at home!!! hahahaha

    May 10, 2011 | 2:48 am

  30. gina says:

    I give up, where are you?

    May 10, 2011 | 3:21 am

  31. Pinksalmonlady says:

    I would not say you’re in Italy but maybe just somewhere in Makati.

    May 10, 2011 | 6:02 am

  32. Susie says:

    I venture to think you are in Glauco Muzzi’s bodega in Cebu. MM, do you mean to say that Gaita had a “hollowed” out whole parmesan? :-)

    May 10, 2011 | 8:14 am

  33. present tense says:

    Sounds like something the xxxx (family name deleted, the guess wasn’t correct at any rate) would do. Volumes are too small for a manufacturing facility. Chances are it was bought unripe in bulk at a discount, shipped here, then aged at its current location. The building has a centralized AC unit and simply rerouted to cut on costs. Most hotels are near or in the business districts so access is easy. Even if you ship these out to provincial resorts, you still make 15% so it is either within the central business districts of near it is my best guess

    May 10, 2011 | 9:06 am

  34. Marketman says:

    Susie, thanks, my spelling is horrific… :) Sorry, guys, I am traveling and swamped with work and stuff to do, hence my less frequent check ins to the blog. Will update you on location soon!

    May 10, 2011 | 10:08 am

  35. isang, philippines says:

    the secret store in makati

    May 10, 2011 | 2:30 pm

  36. chloe says:

    You are at the S&L Fine Foods in Yakal, MM! Just looking at those georgeous cheese wheels makes me drool. Reminds me of my summer vacation in Modena.

    May 11, 2011 | 11:09 am


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