For better cheddar — smoked, with oregano (we taste the oregano), and regular — there is a micro cheese factory in Cayambe. They also make ricotta, yogurt and at times other types of cheeses, such as a Swiss style cheese.
We received a 5 minute tour — the place is small — and given white caps to wear for sanitary reasons. The cheesemakers wore not only caps, but white jackets over their cloths and white masks over their mouths — very clean.
We enjoy the cheeses, however, we’re experimenting with aging the cheddar even further.
The place is located in front of Taznan Park on the Pana, right in front of the playground with the small laguna. An appointment may be made first. Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org (He is going back to the States but the cheese operation will continue–he is not the owner, he was just helping out). –02/2016 (Update; A friend living near Cotacachi is now carrying these cheeses for resale for this cheese factory. Available at the artisans market on Thursday mornings in the Solid Rock Plaza).
We caught a Cita bus at the Atuntaqui bus stop right at 8:30 am, which then dropped us off in Cayambe an hour later right in front of the laguna/playground area, as we requested.
Right next door, after purchasing cheeses, have a fantastic breakfast, lunch or dinner at Cafe El Jinete — British owned, with great ambiance, and fantastic coffee.
The owner Michelle, who has lived in Ecuador for 8 years, buys her beef from a supplier in Quito who is passionate about his cuts. She states that the quality of his meat is equal to the beef hailing from the highlands of Scotland, which she claims raises the best beef on earth. She also claims that his sausages are wonderful, which she does serve. Anyway, Fred and I can attest to the steak — tender with an excellent flavor. Not to mention, it came with an artistically large salad with grilled zucchini to die for.
Cafe El Jinete also offers fish and chips made with dorado (mahi mahi). It was honestly so large, that I had a difficult time finishing the dish.
At least one person on TripAdvisor bragged that the best hamburger to be found in Ecuador can be consumed right here. We’ll be going back! (Not a long day either as we were back by noon). –11/2015