I have a deep love for cheese. Actually, it borders on an addiction, but (so far) I am able to live my life normally.
Does flying to Argentina for cheese count as normal? A couple of years ago Barnaby I went to Argentina to visit friends. Really, it was to visit friends, the cheese (and wine, meat, leather!) was just a bonus. After our visit in the glorious Buenos Aires, we rented a car and headed into the pampas. Destination: Tandil, home of the famous Epoca de Quesos (Epoch of Cheese). The Epoca de Quesos is housed in one of Tandil’s oldest buildings just off of the main square. This charming building was constructed in 1860 and operated as a staging post for travelers, when it took the better part of a month to get to Tandil from Buenos Aires. In the 1920's it was converted into a general store and then in 1990 became an eatery to showcase the region's incredibly rich tradition of artisinal cheese and cold-cut production. The selection of cheeses offered was nothing short of fantastical...herbed, studded with chili peppers, dusted with smoked paprika; fresh-made to aged and ranging from the milk of cows, to goats and sheep. The old wooden shelves were laden with many cheeses I’d never seen or heard of before and the smell! Well, the smell was a bit like old, nasty milk at a vintage dairy. But to a cheese lover, it was perfume. In addition to their bodacious assortment of traditional cheeses, they offer about 40 different cold cuts – salami, prosciutto, chorizo, mortadella - as well as other delicious snacks; beer and wine; and goodies. Like the travelers of old, we settled into the back garden after a long dusty drive. They offered a variety of house tasting menus for 30-40 pesos each (about $10 USD). We chose a mix of meats and cheeses, which came on a rustic wooden board with a country bread. Adding to our delight was a wonderful bottle of red wine and an old-fashioned siphon of cold seltzer.
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