Kasilyo, or Quesillo (white cheese), is a Filipino soft, tender, unaged white cheese made from unskimmed carabao milk and salt curled with vinegar. It’s a mild, salty, and soft flavor. Its colour is white, usually 75 grams, and it is cooked on a slow fire, pressed and firm with the use of hands, and put into a round cylinder, then poured into water with salt, layered, and wrapped with banana leaves.
The local place (General Trias) is a farming community that defends rice fields and native Carabao as partners in farming. The area has a tropical climate with 6 months of summer and 6 months of rainy seasons, which are best for carabao mating and propagation. Once a female carabao (caracow) gave birth after 2 weeks, the farmer started milking the carabao, collected the milk, and processed it in Kasilyo/Quesillo.
The historical significance of these products seemingly originated during the Spanish era. It is possible that the Spaniard brought these products to the Philippines because four provinces made them, particularly Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cebu. Our ancestors passed it from generation to generation. Most farmers wives are processing these products and selling them to different towns and cities, particularly Cavite City. Most grandparents passed the technology on to their heirs and children in order to preserve the existence of Kasilyo in our town and province.
The Kasilyo product lasts for 14 days, then flattens in the refrigerated area. All year round, we made in on the availability of fresh carabao’s milk, which I could eat with pan desal bread, as a salad dressing, or as a viand. One traditional recipe is fresh carabao’s milk with vinegar.
With urbanization and rapid industrialization resulting in limited agricultural areas and the introduction of modern farm technology, maybe our dairy carabao herds will be affected. Pastured land will not exist anymore. To save the dairy herds and their existence, we encourage the upland town of Cavite to raise dairy carabao so that milk production will survive and thus Kasilyo production in the province will not die. We hope that this product will exist forever. We hope the future generation will still process and eat this product.