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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Enjoy a fresh goat cheese wherever you are in Cabo Verde!
- Guia de Cabo Verde
- www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/bolona-planalto-matured-goat- 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