Our love for Cape Verdean goat cheese! Maio (part 2)

During our stay in the village of Barreiro in Maio we were introduced by a neigbor to a technique of making a goat cheese and she also showed us the different stages. It was such a wonderful experience! So let us guide you through the process of cheese making!


CHEESE-MAKING IN BARREIRO VILLAGE

Last stage in goat cheese making:it is salted and ready to eat!
Last stage in goat cheese making:it is salted and ready to eat!
Ordina cabra’: milking goats to get fresh goat milk for the cheese
Ordina cabra’: milking goats to get fresh goat milk for the cheese

When we were enjoying our short time in Maio with the Maio Biodiversity Foundation (FMB), we were introduced to the rural life by Albertina and Silvestre. One of our activities was milking the goats (‘ordina cabra’) thus it was only logical that we would use the fresh milk afterwards to make goat cheese!

DIFFERENT STAGES IN THE GOAT CHEESE MAKING PROCESS

At Barreiro with Albertina and her neighbor, ready to start the cheese making process
At Barreiro with Albertina and her neighbor, ready to start the cheese making process

Let’s start to make the cheese from scratch! As we learned through watching Albertina’s neighbor make goat cheese and by studying the available literature, making goat cheese requires the following essential stages:

Stage 1: Acidifying and heating the milk

The first step is to warm the milk to room temperature. Allow the milk to cool naturally if it is fresh from the herd, like the milk from Planalto Norte in Santo Antão. Otherwise, place the milk in a pot or sink of warm water. Once the milk is at the correct temperature the Chevre culture can be added and a couple of drops of rennet from the goat kids. Give it a quick stir.

The essentials in the cheese-making process
The essentials in the cheese-making process

Stage 2. Coagulation stage

Now it’s the pot and set it aside for a couple of hours whilst the culture can do its work and the rennet coagulates the curd. Keep the milk warm during this period,time to cover.

Goat cheese in whey
Goat cheese in whey

Stage 3: Draining and removing the whey 

The whey is removed when a good curd has formed, usually after about an hour and a half or two hours. You can see when it’s ready because there will be a thin layer of whey over the curd mass. Another sign is that the curd may show cracks and separation from the sides. 

Allowing the whey to drain
Allowing the whey to drain

In the short video below you can see how goat cheese is made in the village of Barreiro on Maio island!

 

Stage 4 and 5: Shaping of the paste, pressing the paste into molds and leave to drain

In this stage the paste is shaped by pressing it with both hands into molds and allowing the last bits of whey to drain. 


Stage 6: Salting and finishing

Once the whey is removed, the last step is to salt the cheese. Add about 1.5-2 tsp of salt. This will help the flavor the goat cheese but, even more important, it will slow/stop the bacteria from producing excessive acid. If you want you can mix fresh herbs or spices with the salt to give the cheese a lovely herbal taste.

  The last stage: salting and finishing the cheese
The last stage: salting and finishing the cheese

PUDIM DE QUEIJO

Even though the subtle milky aroma, the soft and somewhat elastic texture of goat cheese is simply delicious to eat without anything else, one must certainly try the fresh goat cheese pudding (pudim de queijo) whilst you are in Cabo Verde, a delicious Cape Verdean dessert!

Ready to take a bite of this pudim de queijo in Paul, Santo Antão
Ready to take a bite of this pudim de queijo in Paul, Santo Antão

For more information about goat cheese and more pictures and recipes of typical Cape Verdean food like pudim de queijo, couscous, pastels and of course Cachupa,  have a look at the sources of information below!

Eating fresh goat cheese at the weirdest places: this time on the small island close to Sal Rei, Boa Vista.
Eating fresh goat cheese at the weirdest places: this time on the small island close to Sal Rei, Boa Vista.

Enjoy a fresh goat cheese wherever you are in Cabo Verde!


Sources:

 

- Guia de Cabo Verde

- www.cheesmaking.com/Chevre.html

www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/bolona-planalto-matured-goat-   cheese/

  www.fondazioneslowfood.com

- www.slowfood.com/focus-on-cheese-2007-cyprus-cape-verde-italy-france-goat-cheeses-from-around-the-world/

- *http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-08-31-africa-cheese

- www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-make-goat-milk-cheese-zmaz02jjzgoe.aspx: How to Make Goat      Milk Cheese

- Information Museu Municipal de S. Filipe, Fogo island

- Pinterest: Cabo Verde

- Microbiota of the Planalto de Bolona: an artisanal cheese produced in uncommon environmental conditions in the Cape  Verde Islands.December 2010, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 2211–2221 .World Journal of Microbiology and  Biotechnology. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11274-010-0406-7