Mr. Moo’s carabao’s milk and kesong puti (white cheese)

My family never goes to U.P. Los Baños without dropping by DTRI (Dairy Training and Research Institute), buying milk and cheese and, often, having a picnic on the football field of the campus. When it was too hot or when there wasn’t much time, we’d park under our kapok tree and drink milk there as though offering a toast of some kind to the old gnarled tree. Life’s simple pleasures can be very gratifying.

DTRI does not have commercial outlets– you have to go directly to the one and only store in the UPLB campus. And not all products are available every day of the year. We”?ve experienced feeling disappointed because, after a long drive from Antipolo, we”?d reach DTRI only to be told that kesong puti or ice cream or milk was not available.

About two weeks ago, we were in Tagaytay with my husband’s balikbayan brothers and their families, visiting from Chicago and Beirut, respectively. We were just passing through Tagaytay, really, as we were on our way back to Metro Manila from Batangas. We had snacks at Carlo’s Pizza, took photos and made plans for later. We’d go to Chinatown then hang out at the New World Hotel (where the balikbayans from Chicago were billeted). It was their last weekend in the country, we wouldn’t see each other again for a couple of years and we were just making the most of our time together.

Driving from Batangas to Tagaytay earlier, I had noticed the “Mr. Moo fresh milk”? signs but never suggested stopping to check them out. I”?m a DTRI loyalist, remember, and nothing but nothing would satisfy me but DTRI products. But the balikbayans from Chicago were curious. After leaving Carlo’s Pizza, we stopped at a Mr. Moo’s outlet, the balikbayans alighted from their cars and, pretty soon, there were plastic cups half-filled with milk going around. I was offered one, I sipped the milk and, well”? I got out of the car.

Mr. Moo's Tagaytay stall

I joined the balikbayans in checking out the list of products “? kesong puti, ricotta cheese, herbed cheese in olive oil, yogurt (in six flavors), pastillas (in five flavors), chocolate milk, strawberry milk, cow”?s milk, carabao”?s milk, soya milk, non-fat milk”? oh, my goodness. I wanted to try them all. I asked my daughters what they wanted, my seventeen-year-old, Sam, asked for ice cream but there was none. Alex, 16, got out of the car too, checked the list of products and said she wanted yogurt.

But I worried about spoilage. We didn’t expect to be home for at least another five or six hours. We didn’t bring an ice chest either because buying fresh food wasn’t on the agenda. So, I asked the Mr. Moo’s people how long the milk, yogurt and cheese would last without refrigeration. They told me they could pack everything in plastic bags with ice, at no extra charge, and they would stay good for six to eight hours.

I ordered two bottles of carabao’s milk, three pieces of kesong puti, three single-serve tubs each of blueberry and strawberry yogurt (total price was a little over six hundred pesos). How they were packed was pretty neat. Everything was wrapped in plastic bags, the bags were placed inside larger bags lined with old newspapers and tube ice was poured in. And the Mr. Moo people weren’t lying. The ice has not completely melted by the time we got home some five hours later.

Mr. Moo's kesong puti

The following morning, it was time to sample the kesong puti and yogurt. Unlike commercial white cheese one usually finds in supermarkets, this was banana leaf-wrapped kesong puti with the texture of the kesong puti from my childhood. Soft and creamy, it was the perfect filling for pan de sal. And unlike commercial fruit-flavored yogurt, Mr. Moo’s yogurt is unsweetened making it more friendly for those who are watching their sugar intake. I had sampled the carabao’s milk the night before and it was just as delicious as my first impression.

Mr. Moo's carabao's milk

Mr. Moo’s products are produced by the Katipunan ng Kooperatiba ng Maggagatas and the Gen. Trias Dairy raisers under the supervision of the U.P. Philippine Carabao Center.

  • http://jomanette.wordpress.com Jomanette

    Sounds really refreshing. May I ask po where is Mr. Moo’s outlet.

    • Nikita

      Saan sa Tagaytay banda ito?

    • Claire

      Mr. Moo products could also be bought at Blissful Belly along Esteban Abada St. in KAtipunan. I buy my kesong puti (carabao’s and goat’s) there if I crave for mr. Moo’s products.

      • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

        Thanks, Claire. We’ll be in UP tomorrow; we’ll pass by Blissful Belly. :)

      • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

        Claire, it’s not along Esteban Abada but Xavierville Avenue. We drove through the whole stretch and didn’t find it. When we got back home, I Googled “Blissful Belly” and found the exact address: Unit 215, Llanar Bldg., 77 Xavierville Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City

        • Pingback: Balikbayans and pinakbet | Food trips & events

          • http://generaltrias.gov.ph ruth

            good day ms. connie!

            Gen. Trias Dairy Raisers has now a new milk processing center that produces kesong puti, pastillas, chocomilk, fresh carabao’s milk,and ice candy (perfect for summer). The center was built with the support of the Phil Carabao Center, KOICA, UPLB and the Mun. of Gen. Trias. They can be contacted thru cel. no. 09237175007 or thru office of the mun. agriculture (046)509-0922 or investment and promotions office (046)887-2612; 09234543535.

  • Mik

    When I was a kid, our gardener used to bring my siblings and I carabao’s milk on our birthdays. Ang sarap! I still remember the taste, smell and texture today. Would take that over cow’s milk any day.

    • ruth

      Ok yan Connie mas malapit sa Silang ang Tagaytay so i can get my kesong puti fix when i get there. My brother would usually special order those for me from Bulacan but thsi seems to be more practical. Getting really excited about the idea of coming home. kesong puti and hot pan de sal…YUMMMM!

  • Marvin

    Alam mo pag sinabi mong masarap, in fairness, masarap talaga. Hello Martha Stewart, is that you?

  • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

    Jomanette and Nikita, I think there’s more than one outlet. The one we bought from, it’s along the highway, pababa na nang Tagaytay. It’s in front of a restaurant but I forgot the name of the restaurant.

    Mik, ah I have similar memories. Carabao’s milk in Coke bottles with the mouth stuffed with rolled banana leaves. And with all the fat in the milk intact…

    Ruth, naku, you will love the kesong puti. Very old style. Sarap!

    Marvin, ganyan talaga pag bone fide customer ka. Yung mga bayaran na bloggers (i.e., those who accept free meals), can they be as honest? LOL

    • maria

      so you did end up getting keso puti.. aka the Pinoy mozzarella. I enjoyed it fried.

      BTW – the best ever dulce gatas (caramelized milk) Ive ever tasted was made with carabao milk.

      Would you ever try to make your own home made cheese?

      • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

        I would if I knew where to get the culture. I heard it’s best to use the stomach lining of the cow…

        • maria

          You would need 2 things. Citric Acid & Rennet tablets. Rennet is the enzyme used to cause the curdling. I heard – that UP Los Banos (I think the college of agriculture) is the source for this product. It’s an enzyme taken from the 4th stomach of a milk fed cow (veal). I’m just surprised that after so many of Filipinos loving cheese, that cheese making is so inaccessible to the greater majority. Youtube has many examples on making mozzarella and other cheeses. Failing getting any supply from the Philppines maybe you can ask your US relatives to assist you obtaining the materials. These are not perishable items. In the US and in Canada, there are mail order companies from which you can obtain these products.

        • Randy

          I make my own cheese and you can get the supplies you need on the internet.There is nothing like fresh Mozzarella.The problem here in the Philippines is getting fresh milk that hasn’t been UHT pasteurized which makes the milk useless for making cheese.
          Anyone know of a good source for fresh milk?

          • Connie

            I thought about the same thing and the only source that came to mind was UP Los Baños.

  • Evelyn Antiporda Calisa

    Hello Connie,
    I have been reading your site for months now and saw this thing about the carabao’s milk. I wish we can have that here in California. I remember my childhood years in QC when my mom would bring home from work those carabao milk in cartons. I think she buys them at work (Dept of Agriculture in QC). We’re visiting summer time this year and we’ll try to visit UP and Mr. Moo’s. Saan ba ang location ng Mr. Moo’s? Love your website and I love those delicious recipes you share with us. Evelyn

  • Chi

    ms connie,

    do you know of other, well, more affordable sources of cheese? yung varieties like ricotta and mozarella… sana meron tayong local source made of carabao’s milk no?

    we love Mr. Moo, but we only get to buy them when we go to Tagaytay. :-P

    • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

      Cheese is expensive in this country anywhere I go. :sad:

      • evelyn o cruz

        Mr.Moo has also an outlet at South Supermarket Filinvest Br.,Muntinlupa

      • nikkola

        hi miss connie, do you know until when will the keson puti be good when refrigerated? and should it be kept in a cool dry place?? or is it ok to just put it in the fridge?? tnx a lot :)

        • Connie

          Storage instructions are printed on the package.

      • Randy

        Cheese is expensive EVERYWHERE in the world.

    • Frances

      hi!

      how about cream cheese made from carabao’s milk? :)

    • http://pcc.gov.ph Rowena

      Hi Chi, Yes we do have affordable cheese varieties such as ricotta and mozarella. You can get them here at the Philippine Carabao Center’s Products Outlet, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Thanks for your interest.

  • Jhen Lao

    Hey Connie! I agree to that! Mr. Moo’s kesong puti is soooo soft and creamy and the perfect filling for the hot pan de sal! We love it and our relatives soooo love it they wish they could take some with them!

  • karen

    Ma’am,
    Do you have their contact number? I am a writer of a national daily and I am interested to write a story about mr. moo. You can reach me through the email address I’ve provided. Thank you!

    • http://homecookingrocks.com Connie

      Oh, I don’t sorry.

  • Leia

    Wait, i cant understand anything. Haha. Sorry im just 14. And i just got home last night from Tagaytay. And my cousin gave me some of mr.moo’s pastillas. And i loooveed it!! But i dont know where i can buy here in Manila. Do you guys know any other branches of Mr. Moo’s? I wanna know so i could buy alot, i reallyy really love it. Tastes so good!! :D

  • uyima

    hello po, saan po kaya aq makakabili ng kesong puti ? am from bukidnon. baka merun pung pde i order by post?

    • Chi

      I remembered this post of yours while reading a post in Market Manila. Check this out: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/gourmet-keso

      Hoping to try their cheeses one of these days. :-) If you do sample them, let us know what you think. Thanks!

  • arnel del barrio

    Dear Carabao’s milk lovers,

    Thank you for patronizing our locally produced milk, from our very own carabao. When you buy our products, you are helping a lot of farmers who rely on carabao as source of additional income for their families. The PCC has dairy cooperatives all over the Philippines that can share with you possible sources of dairy buffalo products. Our gratitude to all the carabao’s milk lovers. from Arnel, PCC at UPLB

    • grace

      Hi do you have any contact no.? ive been trying to call your sun mobile nos. but nobody answer. im interested in your quesong puti. or kindly call me at 7160321 / 7155831 look for grace