Crazy cheese prices

There are 37 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by UK Man.

  • Near Olivos train station is a small shop selling imported stuff - you know how Argentines are drawn to anything imported - and so I popped in to see if they had any English ale. They didn't, but as I was leaving, the owner said "I have some English Cheddar."

    That stopped me in my tracks, so he offered me a small taster and I asked him to cut off a chunk, forgetting to ask him the price (big mistake) and when he presented it to me, bearing in mind that the slice was no more than 3/4" thick and maybe about four inches. Anyway, it was a mouse ration and he was asking $500, which gave me sharp stab in my tummy.

    It was difficult to explain politely in Spanish that I thought he was ripping me off, but he got the message and replied "You're not in England now, you know."

    That passive aggressive statement from any Argentine makes me see red every single time, so I declined his goods and left, with him muttering about customs taxes and such like.

    I know cheese is expensive in this country, but really...

  • Last year I was finding Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano slices imported from Italy at Disco. It was about twice the price in Italy, but they were genuine and I bought it twice because I couldn’t believe my luck!


    I think it was about ten euros for 200 g.
    Then they disappeared and never returned.


    Last week I was in a big disco in Pilar, and I found one Grana Zanetti (a minor brand, but still Italian). The price was still about the same but the quantity of cheese was halved! It was as thin as a provoleta slice!


    We do not consume cheese anymore, except when we are out and having pizza. Cheese quality here is quite poor and it is expensive anyway.


    There is a brand called Arrivata and they make Italian-style cheese which is okay for a supermarket (in Italy) but they cost like if they were made by hand in the motherland.


    Last weekend they had 25% on Arrivata’s produces at Coto and I went to a few to try grab a burrata for just 164 pesos instead of 252, which is a good price even by Italian standard. Of course there was none left in the three Cotos I tried.



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  • There's certainly a huge variety of cheeses to choose from and I've just noticed that Philadelphia cream cheese is now a bit thin on the ground, except for the Lite version. All of a sudden, Kraft cream cheese (US import) is on the shelves, so I can only assume that the dealers got a better deal on the exchange rate.

    There always seems to be Philly about and when there isn't, I'll really start worrying.

  • I’d like to put in a word in defense of Argentina’s cheese. Perhaps my palate is untrained because I didn’t grow up in a country with an outstanding national variety of cheese, but I really enjoy many cheeses in Argentina. Queso de Campo and Sardo are two favorites, but I’m fine with most cheeses we buy. In this sense, I feel lucky to have such undiscriminating taste buds. But now I’m developing self consciousness about serving cheeses that I like to visitors, because what do I know?


  • I find Inconsistency in quality is the biggest problem here and isn't only confined to cheese , you also get it with meat, veg, fish etc.

    Just when you think you've found a shop that sells good quality produce your next purchase turns out to be nowhere near as good as the last. I don't mind paying extra for consistency as it works out cheaper in the long run. Now I know why my wife has always chopped and changed where she shops!!


  • I find Inconsistency in quality is the biggest problem here and isn't only confined to cheese , you also get it with meat, veg, fish etc.

    Just when you think you've found a shop that sells good quality produce your next purchase turns out to be nowhere near as good as the last. I don't mind paying extra for consistency as it works out cheaper in the long run. Now I know why my wife has always chopped and changed where she shops!!

    Definitely frustrating. It could be a question of shops being unable to get consistent quality from their suppliers, but I always wonder if it's just another example of replacing items with others of lower quality in order to save money. I understand that inflation really squeezes them, but surely their customers would opt for keeping the higher quality instead of saving a little? Or maybe they just don't have that luxury right now.

  • I think it is a mix of the two, Rice .


    Once a friend running a restaurant told me he had to 'educate' his suppliers to provide him with consistent quality products. He said that his tomato sauce supplier, once delivered him YELLOW tomato sauce. He asked the supplier what was that and he shrugged and said 'they came like that this time...'.

    The restaurant owner sent back the batch...


    The pickers picked yellow tomatoes, the workers processed yellow tomatoes, the producer sold yellow sauce, the distributor purchased and sold yellow sauce. Until a foreign end-client stopped the cycle.

    However, it simply means that a local end-client got yellow sauce, instead. Maybe for a discounted price.


    Nobody took accountability for the poorly product.


    It is like for the 5 pesos bill. Have you ever noticed that some bills literally fall apart? So you try to spend them first to pass them along and don't end up with a no longer valid 5 pesos bill.

    Usually the most worn out are those used to provide exchange on the highway!


  • I find Inconsistency in quality is the biggest problem here and isn't only confined to cheese , you also get it with meat, veg, fish etc.

    Just when you think you've found a shop that sells good quality produce your next purchase turns out to be nowhere near as good as the last. I don't mind paying extra for consistency as it works out cheaper in the long run. Now I know why my wife has always chopped and changed where she shops!!

    Definitely frustrating. It could be a question of shops being unable to get consistent quality from their suppliers, but I always wonder if it's just another example of replacing items with others of lower quality in order to save money. I understand that inflation really squeezes them, but surely their customers would opt for keeping the higher quality instead of saving a little? aybe they just don't have that luxury right now.

  • To be honest for many years I've always thought the cheese was crap here so it's nothing new. Same with the beef. I suspect it's a consequence of protecting the home product.

    Until imported products get a fairer crack at the whip nothing will change. However I see little signs that things could be changing in that department. :thumbup:

  • Hi guy unfortunately the supliers policie here is "si pasa pasa" they will keep sending shittie stuff until someone stops them.

    i used to be in charge of the kitchen in a 4* hotel in BA. 2 nd time the butcher deliver sent half of a box of rotten tenderloin beef. When of coursee tryied to send it cback the guy said and i quote " but nobody complaint before you can use them"

    this is just 1 story ive got here. Im so lucky i made my career abroad and learn diferent things.

    it will take time to educate people that is not the same one thing and the other. Especially with products they dont know.

  • Hi guy unfortunately the supliers policie here is "si pasa pasa" they will keep sending shittie stuff until someone stops them.

    i used to be in charge of the kitchen in a 4* hotel in BA. 2 nd time the butcher deliver sent half of a box of rotten tenderloin beef. When of coursee tryied to send it cback the guy said and i quote " but nobody complaint before you can use them"

    this is just 1 story ive got here. Im so lucky i made my career abroad and learn diferent things.

    it will take time to educate people that is not the same one thing and the other. Especially with products they dont know.

    Yes good point. As long as the customer keeps buying the inferior product then why bother making it better especially when you're making a nice profit.


    Hence my previous point about imported goods. Allow them to compete fairly and the home produced products will either disappear, improve in quality or lower their cost. It's already happening with certain goods....beer being one example.

  • Its funny when u compare ur life back in time in Europe, in my case 10 years back, and then here.......if you are low on dough in Germany or Holland or Denmark f.ex., just just go to a Discounter like ALDI or LIDL or Netto, (Denmark). The quality of nearly all their goods in the mentioned chains would be superior to any that u get in any medium to premium supermarket here, like Coto or Carrefour. I so much miss to have that option here. The quality level of local products is just low.....except of meat n wine. Of course if u live in Puerto Madero and belong to the newly rich from former government, u don't give a f..., U just buy whatever u want to whatever price that might be. Anyway I doubt a lot of the expats here belong to that group.

  • Splinter ...

    I agree 100% on that, quality have dropped a lot..... anyway it still makes the way to my mouth :P

    On top, the meat is still ridiculously cheap here compared to international prices....there is no way I would be able to eat the amounts of meat I eat here, in Europe, even with a good job! I practically eat asado every single day.....being forced by my daughter twisting my arm.....and I don't wanna loose her love so I comply!

    :D.

    If you shop ur meat well, u r 1/5 of price in Germany, Holland or DK. By Coto I often by ojo de bife for round 240 pesos/5 euros.......that same cut would be more like 40 euros in Europe. When I chat with friends or see their posts on Facebook, I'm deeeeeply thankful to be here, even with all the muppet show......