Like many other cheeses, kesong puti or white cheese can be enjoyed a multitude of ways. But unlike them, this unaged cheese made from carabao’s milk has a distinct subtly salty taste and beautiful soft, spreadable texture that makes it even more accessible to a variety of delicious applications.

Bottle it

In a clean and sterilized container, customise your flavoured olive oil by tossing herbs and spices such as fresh rosemary, lemon peel, whole black peppercorns, honey, roasted cherry tomatoes, and garlic. Mix well before adding cubed white cheese and topping off with more oil. Marinate overnight before tossing in salads or enjoying as is.

Insert in a sandwich

Crumble and lodge in between toasted pandesal along with adobo flakes or Spanish style sardines. Spread liberally on white bread along with a schmear of basil pesto to come up with an original take on a grilled cheese sandwich. Or if you want it light and open-faced, simply top bread with kesong puti, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, season with salt and pepper, then enjoy.

Mix and bake

Instead of throwing in a dash of salt, let this creamy cheese season your baked goods. Include it in your baked squash and caramelised onion empanada or top it on your asparagus and mushroom galette. You can even mix it in your savoury muffin batter, along with chorizo or longganisa bits. Or dot it on your pizza, be it tomato or cream-based.

Make it cheesy

Practically anything that you eat with cheese can have the white cheese as a substitute, like a salad or pasta. Crumble kesong puti and include it in your omelet or frittata. In a Filipino restaurant, they serve breaded and fried kesong puti with two kinds of sauces as an appetiser. You can also make a cheese waffle or pancake by replacing the commercial cheddar with it.

Match the sweet

Since it lends a slight saltiness to any dish, why not toss it in a dessert for a lovely sweet and salty fix? Beat with cream cheese to add more body to it while seasoning the mixture. Then place at the bottom of a tartlet along with a fruit jam of your choice. Or use the same mixture to make a sweet mousse layered with fruits and a Graham cracker base. If youre more adventurous, churn it into ice cream or a cheesecake.

Get inspired

Every year, Sta. Cruz, Laguna celebrates the towns most popular delicacy with a festival. They hold a thanksgiving mass, choral competition, and even have a beauty pageant. But one of the most anticipated events is the cookout where cooks from different barangays come up with an innovative dish using the cheese. And the fare that they have come up with over the years is nothing short of creativefrom leche flan and layered cakes to turon and ginataan.