"Cheese is milk's leap towards immortality," wrote the iconic American intellectual and TV host Clifton Fadiman. We at Ka'ana couldn't agree more. The dairy delicacy, which dates back over 7,000 years, truly is one of humanity's most timeless culinary infatuations. And that goes for in Belize too. Travelers are often surprised to find that here in the tropics, we too have a growing appreciation for it. We all love our queso fresco, but, recently, the region has developed a growing taste for more international styles of cheeses. It's a veritable dairy revolution!
Two of the leaders of Belize's cheese revolution are Chris and Sue Harris, who moved to Belize in the early 2000s from the UK. In 2013, they founded White Rock Farm, a 15-acre mixed-use plot near Belmopan, and have since become regional leaders in craft cheese production. We love to visit their shop, where you can choose from a constantly rotating roster of small-batch, artisanal cheeses made from the milk of either the Harriss's own goats or of their neighbors' jersey cows. Highlights we've loved during past visits have included nutty Gloucester, Italian-style bel paese, tangy chevre and a signature blue. While many of the cheeses change throughout the year, some form of traditional English county cheese is always available. A hyper-local variation of cheddar produced by each county in England, English county cheese is a favorite of Chris and Sue's, and they replicate it faithfully here in Belize.
Another pillar of the cheese revolution is Ian Anderson, owner of Caves Branch, a lodge midway between Ka'ana and the coast. After taking a cheese class in Vermont in 2013, Anderson began producing artisanal cheeses. Now, four years in, his team is producing multiple varieties—each handcrafted and produced with local milk. Visitors can purchase international favorites like trappist monk-style cheese, Roquefort-style blue cheese, mild provolone, crumbly feta, double-cream mozzarella and a rich, triple-cream camembert. "It is a lot of work," Anderson told The Daily Meal in 2016. "Three times a week the cheeses have to be turned to keep the moisture level center. Every single cheese round. And we have over 7,000 of them!"
Here at Ka'ana, guests can enjoy the fruits of Anderson's hard work in our cheese board, which features 100% Belizean cheeses from both Caves Branch and White Rock Farm. Available nightly, the cheese board is one of our favorite ways to unwind after a full day of adventures—and it goes great with a glass or two of wine. Be sure to try it during your stay!