Columbia used to be the place for roses to be grown and they have most of the business there. Columbia has about 15 years on Ecuador in the cultivation of roses.
What was discovered though was that the roses that were grown in Ecuador (mainly Cayambe and T) were of better quality with larger buds. This is mainly due to the high elevation.
Now Ecuador is becoming a big competitor in the cultivation and distibution of roses. Most of thier business goes to the US and to Russia.
While in Cayambe you will notice white tents, long rows of them. This is where the roses are being grown.
“QUESO DE HOJA” is a special cheese, which is originated from Cayambe.
It is the ideal complement for the bizcochos. Because Cayambe is a milk place, there are many kinds of cheese. Queso de hoja is called so because it is involved with “atzera” leaf ( a typical leaf of the place), also it is called so because the leaf manner used to involve the cheese.
The cheese is made using the mature condition of the cheese and it does not have to be either very mature or very green. First, the pieces are cooked within water to high temperatures until achieve to the state called “chicle”.
Then, in this state the cheese is mashed with a hard roll next, kinds of stripes are cut for rolling then and finally they are put in its respective “atzera” leaf.
The bizcochos or biscuits are made from Wheat flour, vegetable butter, butter, baking powder, egg yolk, salt, sugar and water. First, mix all the ingredients; mashing each one at the instant they are aggregated.
Then, they are mashed by pieces for obtaining a better dough.
Next, each piece of dough is mashed with a hard roll in order to lengthen and cut them forming a board in one of its sides.
After that, we proceed to “afilar” (a process where each small piece of dough is collocated on roasting pans so that, they can mature.
While it happens, we turn on the over (a special oven which functions with wood) and when it is ready we proceed to put the roasting pans with the small pieces of dough.
This dish is baked two times. The first is called “primera horneada” (first bake) where the dish gets a bread form. But, after a prudential time it is “afilado” again in order to put it in the oven again, this is called “segunda horneada” (second bake) It is in this moment that this dish with a bread form is baked and takes the name of biscuit.
I like to eat my bizcochos with "dulce de leche" (its a form of sweet caramel) and the cheese i eat by itself. It is so delicious.