This past week we skipped town with the rest of Guadalajara and headed out into the countryside. More specifically, we spent most of Semana Santa in Tapalpa, Jalisco. During Semana Santa, most of the big cities in Mexico empty and the beaches are packed with all the people from Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Tapalpa is about an hour and a half from Guadalajara and up into the mountains. Tapalpa is known as a place with really good cheese and very large rocks. There are quite a lot of cabins for rent and most people seem to stay outside the town and in cabins in the pine forests. We stayed at the cabin of my friend’s aunt.

The first day we arrived we unpacked the car and then headed into town. By chance we stopped in front of a house with a sign proclaiming “Productos Lacteos”. We entered off the street into the sitting room of the house. The smell of boiling guavas filled the room, we walked through the sitting room, filled with family photos into a small room with a refrigerator and stove opening onto the courtyard. The room was filled with preserves and rompope, and the guavas boiling on the stove. The owner, Carmelita, came through the courtyard to give us the big sell. She showed us the various kinds of cheese she had – queso fresco, panela, aged panela, aged queso fresco. Carmelita told us that she aged the cheeses for more than a month before they were ready to sell.

We were given taste tests of the cheeses and samples of the different flavors of rompope; we smelled the guavas and opened our wallets. We bought fresh and aged cheeses, two different flavors of rompope and peach preserves. I felt like I was operating with great restraint.

After the shopping spree, we wandered around the center of town and checked out the market and the church. We sampled the local specialties, which included tamales de acelga (or chard tamales) covered in cream and queso fresco. Across the street from the woman selling the tamales, there was a family selling churros. So we had desert, too!

I eyed the pots for boiling beans in the market and bought a new wooden spatula. We bought honey from a man loaded down with honeycomb and surrounded by bees. My friend laughed at the people asking the man if the honey was “all natural”.

We relaxed at the cabin and ate good food and played dominos while keeping warm by the fire. On our last day, we returned and left town loaded down with more cheese.

We also went to visit the big rocks, or Piedrotas, which were impressive to some people, but I was more impressed by Carmelita’s. We took her card which reads:
Productos Lacteos
Quesos, Panelas, Pegostes, Conservas, Rompopes, Ponches y Repostería
Carmelita’s Toscano
Hidalgo no. 248, Tel. 43 200 57, Tapalpa, Jalisco.

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5 Responses to “Tapalpa”

  1. Françoise Says:

    hi ! Della! it’s funny as cheese and food are really important in our life !! when we’ve been to Zûrich to bring Emilie we came back with cheese too !! and we’ve test them today with the family and friend as it was Pâques lunch !
    We came back with a special Suisse’s drink as well and chocolat of course !!
    Hope you will come again to test ours !!

  2. Mon Says:

    Who is jealous, yup that is me!

  3. calistarm Says:

    Great header!

  4. deeb Says:

    Thanks Cali! That’s my hand holding onto my torta ahogada. I robbed it from Adolfo’s flickr site.

    Francoise: I still remember having lunch with you when Amanda and I first came to visit and the fabulous cheese platter you put together. There is no blue cheese here, but there are many other kinds to explore.

  5. Leah Says:

    I have unfortunately made the mistake of reading Della’s blog after working a 12 hr shift and not getting time to eat much today. I WAS trying not to eat before bed because it is too late now and I will get fat if I eat before bed. Look what you have done to me! I must go find cheese.

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