Olive Puentepsina

Not too long ago, I was making fresh cheese in the kitchen. Good enough for my ever hungry kids, but soon my fickle mind wanted something better. I wanted a more organized, clean and proper ‘cheese room’. After relearning the rudiments of cheese making from an old colleague from the Dairy Training and Research Institute in UP Los Baños, I endeavored to make my cheese room; I converted the company mess hall to a screened production area. This time, it had an area for receiving milk, pasteurization, cooling down, aging, processing and packaging. And I have my father-in-law to thank for bank rolling this project, and my mother-in-law for raising the goats for milk.

Slowly, I acquired kitchen equipment that I converted to suit my cheese making procedures. I also acquired a new sense of confidence. I even changed protocols in established cheese making steps to suit Philippine conditions. This I call “Cheese Making: Philippine Style.” Proudly, after 6 months of experimenting and numerous cheese tastings, my feta made it to the Cheese Club of the Philippines’ September 2006 Meet. The first and only Goat Cheese Feta from the Philippines. You have to realize though that I am focusing on the positive events that I have encountered. I had my share of challenges and criticisms but I did not allow that to hinder my passion. I kept working hard to come up with wonderful products.