Rancho Los Algodones, located just 15 minutes east of Santa Anita in San Jose del Cabo, belongs to the Alvarez Carrillo family. Members of the family have been making traditional fresh cheese for more than 50 years.
Some friends and I went camping at the ranch because part of my friend Cristina’s family lives there. There’s nothing better than undertaking an adventure where there is trust. The least we could do was provide a full pantry. Support for the rancherias is always welcome. It is a quiet life, but it is hard, and we know that there are no nearby stores with basic products.
Upon our arrival, the whey was already being drained from the curd and broken up (crumbled) and the cheese salted. Once ready, it was placed in cloth bags and left to rest in a press that resulted in the shape of the traditional “chopo.” The tasting was impressive. First, we tried it unsalted and it was very good. Next, salt was added and it tasted so much better! When given another piece, I saw how my friend’s eyes widened. I did not hesitate and, without even washing my hands, I ran and grabbed a piece. It was absolutely delicious.
Early the next day, we saw how obedient the cattle were as they took turns eating. We also learned that we lacked years of practice when it came to getting milk out of the cow. Life in the country is very peaceful; you eat deliciously, you converse without hurry, and you enjoy the company of animal life from goats and turkeys, to cardinals who come down to eat corn near the kitchen. In fact, I saw a guinea fowl for the first time.
I plan to return to the ranch. I still want to hear the stories about the fossils found in the surrounding area and see a megalodon tooth the size of the palm of my hand. At the end of our trip, we returned to Cabo San Lucas happy with our purchase of Chopo cheeses.