Exploring Latin American cheeses: A trip to Argentina to visit artisan dairies and attend the debut of the ALQA association
[News from the members] Leartiker, Spain
Recently we had the opportunity to travel to Argentina and learn more about the reality of artisanal dairies in several Latin American countries. This trip coincided with the first meeting of the newly established Latin American Association of Artisan Dairies (ALQA, Asociación Latinoamericana de Queserías Artesanales), which was held in the city of Las Flores (Buenos Aires), and to which we were honoured to be invited. In addition to producers from different regions of Argentina, the event was also attended by producers from Mexico and Uruguay.
The place for this first meeting was no accident, since Santa Águeda is the place where the Dairy of Eduardo Zurro and Ana Rodríguez, the first Argentine dairy to be registered to produce sheep cheeses, is located. They brought the first Frisian sheep from Germany in the early 1990s. After three decades working hard to boost artisanal cheese production (shepherd’s cheeses made from sheep’s milk, although they have also worked with cow’s and goat’s milk in recent years), the pioneering couple formed by Eduardo and Ana are today a reference point in this sector and serve as an inspiration to other producers throughout Latin America. They have been the promoters of the creation of ALQA and some of its founding partners, which aims to defend and value artisan dairies in a market dominated by industrial cheese production. Eduardo Zurro is the president of the newly formed alliance.