Next time you’re driving down Baja, try to hit Ensenada on a Sunday and stop in at Marcelo Castro’s recent addition to Baja’s quiet gourmet food and drink revolution. Take the short drive 40 miles east of Ensenada on federal highway 3 to Ojos Negros to see what it’s all about.
Now, in addition to incomparable seafood, fantastic organic produce, olive oil and wines all made possible by sea breezes which create a very special micro climate perfect for all these culinary treasures, Marcelo Castro has installed America’s first stone cave for aging artesanal cheeses the way it’s been done for generations in Europe.
It makes sense. Marcelo is a fourth generation artesanal cheese producer, following in the footsteps of his Swiss-Italian grandfather who brought the family tradition to Baja, making cheeses for American and Mexican cowboys in the valley historically known as Valle de San Rafael. The family business expanded to include the Ensenada-Tecate-Tijuana triangle, then the entire country of Mexico.
Marcelo’s ambitious project allows him to turn out 400 kilos of exquisite artesanal cheeses daily, and the stone cave has a capacity for 10,000 pieces at the perfect humidity and light exposure for European quality cheeses.
Artesanal doesn’t just encompass cheese production, either. Marcelo’s grows and feeds their own livestock, milks the cows and takes it from there! And yes, you can drop in on Sundays for a tour that allows you to see just how it’s being done, and to sample the fare, including the Valley’s famous wines. Google Cava de Marcelo for more information.
It’s an exciting time for foodies in Baja! Come for lunch…