FMHOY - Fuerteventura
The Majoreros Cheeses are produced all over the island of Fuerteventura, in the municipalities of Antigua, Betancuria, La Oliva, Pájara, Puerto del Rosario and Tuineje. This cheese is elaborated with raw or pasteurised goat milk and a small quantity of ewe milk can also be added.
It has a denomination of origin since 1996 and was selected on various occasions as one of the best cheeses in the world and its flavour was rewarded by the tasters of the World Cheese Awards.
They have a cylinder shape and a specific diamond pattern that is created by the traditional mould made with plaited palm tree leaves as per the tradition. The Majorero Cheese is available tender, semi-cured or cured, with maturation times that go from eight to sixty days and its crust is covered with, oil, gofio or paprika.
It can weigh between 1 and 6 kilos. When we cut it, its paste is compact. It is white for the tender cheeses and ivory for the semi-cured and cured cheeses. The tender cheese is easier to digest and its aroma and flavour are delicious to the taste.
On the other hand, the cured cheeses have a harder paste with a slight typical acid taste of goat cheeses. Furthermore, they are slightly spicy. Their flavour and aroma are unmistakable. Finally, the semi-cured have medium characteristics and are ideal to suit every taste.
The name Majorero Cheese came from the word «Maxorata» that defined the northern part of the territory on the island of Fuerteventura before the conquest. We have to go back to the pre-Spanish era in order to find the origin of the Majorero cheese. It was the main part of the native population's diet as described in the written testimonies of the settlers of the 15th century.
In 1402, in the diary of Le Canarien campaign, the expedition from Normandy speaks of the existence of goat livestock, between 50.000 and 60.000 heads. After the conquest, the island of Fuerteventura kept on preserving most of its shepherding tradition, which has prevailed until nowadays. Doctor Rene Vernau is the one who best-described livestock farmers. As any good anthropologist, he knew how to define the type of livestock, how they used to work and elaborated the cheese.
Cheese farms What stands out the most about the evolution of this cheese, is that it is still elaborated in a traditional manner with the absolute respect of ancestral methods. In Fuerteventura, the most outstanding cheese farms are those of Cañada de Agando, Ganadería La Pared and Quesos Tindaya, amongst others. They process over 100.000 litres of goat milk per year. Their cheeses are appreciated for their gofio, paprika, oil or smoked coatings.