Living in provincial Ilocos is the best gift, even with the so many inconveniences like being able to enjoy imported Edam cheese or QdB or queso de bola (available all year round only in gourmet shops in the metro) once a year or so. QdB for nochebuena is obviously a Spanish influence, along with hamon, ubas and arak. In my case, the Christmas season is not a guarantee I can snag a red paraffin-coated cheese ball. My brand of choice is Marca Piña. Only Marca Piña. Last Christmas, it sold out before December at Robinsons Ilocos. Last week, I grabbed the last piece in the smaller size, cheers!
Can’t wait for Christmas Eve. Butchered the hard as stone ball, hahah! The texture is dry and crumbly as expected, and the aged, salty flavor is most desirable. Better in teeny-weeny bits. Taking the place of the old reliable processed milk-filled cheese, it adds a new dimension to classic homemade cheese pimiento spread. Just whip up grated QdB (‘coz it’s more flavorful, a little will do), chopped pimientos, a bit of mayo, some melted butter, sugar or condensed milk and voilà! Try it!
Going back to why it’s nice in the not-exactly-countrified Ilocos, it improves self-control and curbs indulgence. Once a year is not a bad thing I guess.
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