Ian Anderson Fords Swollen Rivers to Serve Artisan Cheese on Ambergris Caye

NOTE/PLEA:  EVEN IF YOU DON’T READ ANY OF THIS POST, PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM AND VOTE TO SEND ME TO CHEESE CAMP.  But enough shouting…more on that later.

A big festive wine, meats, shrimp & cheese party was planned.  Some of the best distributors in Belize were lined up to bring samples and demonstrations to San Pedro but then it rained.  A LOT.  The “low bridge” in San Ignacio, Cayo District is now back under water.

Here it is when in normal working order.

IMG_1729And Belize’s Ian Anderson, who owns Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch Jungle Resort in Cayo and now a master Cheese Man (is that a term?), was in trouble.  Would he make it to San Pedro to showcase his line of Belizean made artisan Cave’s Branch cheese?

Mid-day, he posted these pictures from his property.  Ha.  Awesome.

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He doesn’t seem stressed!Ian AIan’s spot is out on the Hummingbird Highway – in the beautiful Mayan Mountains south of Belmopan.

map_of_belize (1)I arrived at Banyan Bay early.  They have a lovely Christmas tree in the lobby.

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Free food and wine in San Pedro?  This could be a serious crowd.  I needed to take some glamour shots of the cheeses.

CHEESE GLORIOUS CHEESE!

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I love cheese LOVE IT.  But when I moved to Belize 7 years ago, it took a bit of adjustment.  Cheese, for the most part, is Dutch cheese or Mennonite cheese and…well…bland is one way to describe it.  Here is the cheese selection at the usual grocery store.  Unrefrigerated.

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And I knew that Ian was making the real deal in Cayo with fresh Mennonite milk.  From ricottas to the very stinkiest specialty cheeses.  Here are some of them…and my very favorite, the Trappist.

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There were some homemade soaps from Caves Branch as well…

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There was a line at the door before 6pm.  Seriously…about 50 people but Ian’s crew and Richard Price of Premium Wines were setting up.

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A price list is a beautiful thing to have at home.  Premium has a shop in San Pedro (next to Fido’s, in Belmopan and in Belize City.)IMG_6289 IMG_6293

Ian gave a short speech about how he crossed two rivers to be at the event, how he got into cheese making (and his trips to Vermont to learn with masters), about the women he works with, about how he ruined tens of thousands of dollars worth of cheese on his first try…this guy’s got spunk.  I like him already.

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IMG_6297 Ian manned the table for serious cheese-ophiles.  The aged types.

Clara Bell is the head of cheese making at Caves Branch.

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Both Richard and Ian brought enough for a small army.  And the army arrived.  I’d guess over 100 noshers packed the room.

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And many left with bags of cheese and wines.

Okay.  Now to the contest.  Ian’s Cave Branch is holding a facebook contest for a 5 night Cheese-Making Getaway in the Mayan Mountains.  I can learn to make six of these GORGEOUS cheeses, go cave tubing, stay in a jungle bungalow and eat cheese until I pass out.  And tell you all about it.

Perhaps I can convert my bathroom to a cheese cave when I get home.  What do I pack for a 4 day cheese making extravaganza?  (YES, the power of positive thinking.)  How much cheese can one person eat?

Conceive it, believe it, achieve it.

If you are on Facebook (or want to sign up), PLEASE vote for my CHEESE PICTURE and send me on one AMAZING trip.  One that I will tell you all about.  Here is the link.  Scroll down and press VOTE.

IMG_2742 (2)Thank you so much!

Oh yes…and if you are wondering about the meat and shrimp?  Neither could make it due to the rains.

 

 

 

 





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  • Kerry L. Curren

    Cannot wait to read the scoop! Caves Branch is awesome…….

    • Belize Blog

      I’m working, I’m working. Not close to winning yet!

  • Jen Bryan

    I voted for you! ZI hope you win so I can read all about it! I look forward to reading your blog every day and dreaming of the day I finally make my move!