Central Valley - Loop #4

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If you’re looking for a one-stop cheesemaker located in a mini-mall, this is it. Queso Salazar, located in an innocuous tiny roll-up warehouse in Brentwood, hides a family creamery making Queso Oaxaca and Queso Fresco. There’s no guarantee they’re there…but what a find. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch them braiding their cheese. You can purchase cheese while there. Probably best to bring cash.

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01Queso Salazar

The Salazar family is proud to make authentic Mexican cheeses, which they began making in Mexico with milk from their own farm. Now that they're in the U.S. (they came in around 2000), they produce Queso Fresco and Queso Oaxaca in small batches of just 300 gallons with milk from a small single herd of Holstein cows. While their cheeses are mainly sold to restaurants, they are in two retailers: Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and El Cerrito Natural Grocery. It's worth comparing a small batch cheese with that of the "big" guys. See if you can tell the difference. If you're in the area of Brentwood, while it's really just a creamery and not a retail shop, if the Salazars not busy adding cultures to milk or packaging, they're happy to sell you cheese directly.