Majorero cheese is a full fat cheese with an intense aroma, either farmhouse or industrially produced, which has deserved important recommendations because of its quality, inside and outside our boundaries, getting the denominación de origen on the 16th of February, 1996.
It’s a pressed mould cheese, made of majorera goat milk —with a maximum of a 15% of Canarian sheep milk added in the case of reaching the curing process—.
The main secret of this cheese is the excellent quality of Its majorera goat milk, a very strong animal that produces very dense, fat and aromatic milk (around two and a half litres a day), free of impurities, colostrums, medications, and preservatives that can negatively influence on the cheese production, curing and preservation.
A little bit of history
Finding loose goats all over the island is common in Fuerteventura; that’s why this animal has become this island’s icon. The name Majorero —after the island’s inhabitants— comes from the native term that defined a part of the old Fuerteventura’s land, Maxorata, some years before the conquest; those were hard times where the cheese must have been the main food of the guanches, as we can read in the conquerors’ records. One of these records, «Le Canarien», where the Normans’ arrival into the island in 1402 is narrated, reveals the existence of a great number of goats (60.000 goats a year) and tells about the cheese manufacture. The cheese is referred to as one of the best quality foods in Fuerteventura before the conquest. After the conquest, the shepherd tradition kept on being important in Fuerteventura, and the cheese production has played a very important role in the island’s history.
- 1st Curd: after the goats have been milked and this milk has been strained — the goats may have been milked either by hand or mechanically— we proceed to curdle it, adding rennet from goat kids’ stuffed stomachs. (28-32ºC, for an hour approximately).
- 2nd Cutting: after the curdling process is over, the curd will undergo several cuts until we get it reduced to grains with a diameter of among 5 and 15mm., depending of the kind of cheese we want to obtain —cured, or soft respectively—
- 3rd Draining: now the curd is pressed in order to drain out most of the whey.
- 4º Moulding and pressing: the semi-pressed curd in placed into «pleitas de palma» or plastic moulds, or in moulds that imitate the drawing of this traditional «pleita de palma», made of plaited palm-tree leaves.
- 5º Salting: the salt will be either wet or dry sea salt. If the salt is wet, the cheese will be kept for a maximum of 24h in the saline solution.
- 6º Maturation process: this process can take place in either a room or store, where they are kept for a minimum of 8 days. During this period several practices are applied: turning over, cleaning and spreading (with paprika, gofio or just oil) until the cheese gets the traditional features.