If you were able to make it down to the Oregon Cheese Festival in Southern Oregon in March, you probably already know about La Mariposa. You may have even tasted Mariano Battro's first batches of his debut cheese, the Chubut. Battro (pictured at left), a native of Argentina, made cheese at his family's farm before coming to Oregon with his American born wife a few years ago. He's been busy working with Jan and Larry Nielsen at Fraga Farm (he helped develop their newest cheese, the Rio Santiam) but now is licensed to make his own cheeses. His company, La Mariposa (the butterfly) is named after his father's former cheesemaking operation in Argentina. Battro's debut cheese, the Chubut, is based on a Welsh recipe. During the nineteenth century, significant numbers of people immigrated to Argentina from Wales and settled in the southern province of Chubut. They brought their cheesemaking traditions with them, and Battro's Chubut is a modern version of the classic formula first developed in 1885. The semi hard cow's milk cheese is aged about 60 days.
Right now, look for La Mariposa cheeses at Steve's Cheese, Food Front and Market of Choice. La Mariposa will also be at the Portland Farmers Market this weekend - look for them near the Fraga Farm booth on the east side of the square.