A few months ago my family helped out some friends. Because that’s what friends are for. As a thank you, a cheesecake was given to us. And so began my newest and most unswerving dessert obsession.
Juanita Guerrero Galloway grew up on her mom’s cheesecake; distinctive because of the secret Colombian techniques her mother implemented. After her own Seattle-based culinary training, Juanita found herself making a few flavoring tweaks but strictly adhering to her family’s traditional techniques. And then, magic was born.
Juanita’s luscious cake, coined “cloud cake” by her husband, is different from the traditional fudgy-textured American cheesecake. Hers is creamy, silky and airy but still sturdy enough to be considered cheesecake. The graham cracker crust, buttery-rich and crispy, is the perfect compliment. And crust-lovers need not worry: there is plenty of it!
But Juanita doesn’t stop there. She has created a decadent line of sauces that will make your heart dance and your head spin. They left me speechless.
The first sauce I tasted was her raspberry sauce.
Tangy, rich and notes of citrus made this the perfect best friend of her cheesecake. I licked my plate. Really! It wasn’t pretty, but it was worth it. My mom, upon tasting the sauce asked if she could bring the extra home to New Jersey with her.
My father, a no holds barred kind of food critic and tried and true cheesecake lover was also left impressed. He had a second piece, and proclaimed the dessert, “absolutely incredible, just incredible.”
My husband, who has now had it several times notes that it is “consistently delicious.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to try another of Juanita’s sauces: maple cream made with local syrup from Shelburne’s own Palmer’s Sugarhouse.
I was hoping to be disappointed in her newest creation. Then the raspberry sauce would be my favorite and I wouldn’t have to choose. But it was also perfection. Velvety, golden, hints of caramel; another blissful pairing. Lucky for me, Juanita also had the raspberry sauce on hand so I was able to relish them both.
For a while I found myself in a predicament. I couldn’t stop thinking about the cheesecake. I asked her to make it for my father’s birthday. Of course, she obliged. But I felt a little awkward thinking about ringing her, having some small talk and then stammering, “yeah, so I can’t stop thinking about your cheesecake. Can you please make me one?” So I sat, alone and cheesecake-less for many months.
And then the miraculous happened. Turns out everyone who samples her cake has the same reaction as me. Juanita has decided to pursue her lifelong dream and start her own business.
Enter Colombian Eats!
She is currently selling her cheesecake by the slice or as a whole at Palmer’s Sugarhouse. She is also selling them through her website. Free delivery to Shelburne area! This is great news for Vermont as Colombian Eats relies on only local ingredients and uses exclusively Cabot dairy products. She’s crafting sauces as we speak and will rely heavily on locally sourced foods from VT farms and orchards.
Colombian Eats is giving one of our lucky readers a cheesecake, complete with choice of sauce. (Raspberry, maple cream, passion fruit, strawberry balsamic or blueberry cardamom.) Pick me, pick me, oh please pick me!
And if I don’t win, I hope Juanita knows where to find me for taste testing purposes. Day OR night.
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