Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cheese for a Wednesday, pt. 16 - Majorero

As we hurtle toward 2010, I look forward to many more Wednesday night cheese discoveries!  I think it only fitting that the last Wednesday night cheese of 2009 be something festive, spicy, creamy, exotic and dee-licious.  From the Canary Island of Fuertaventura comes Majorero.  This rich, creamy, smooth goat cheese is a beautiful white on the inside - par for the goat course, I think - with a beautiful red rind, courtesy of spicy pimemton pepper.  The pepper was originally used to keep the bad bacteria out during the aging process.  The fabulous side effect was a delicious spicyness that permeates at least 1/4" into the cheese.  The rich paste keeps it from being too overpowering, and don't think it's anything like Pepperjack (though I actually love a good Pepperack cube from time to time!).

This cheese is named for a word for special shoes made from goat leather (um - ew?).  Majorero is also the name given to the current residents of this Canary Island.  (Many thanks to Wikipedia for this amazing photo of the island - another place to put on the dream travel list!)  I think that I'm definitely becoming a fan of the cheese of the Canary Islands.

The happy goats on this island are protected/herded by local dogs of the same name (you must click this link for a picture of the cutest puppy ever!), and something about the grass on the island and the (perhaps inbred) goats themselves, the milk produced on this island is especially high in butter fat, which makes the cheese all the more tasty.

We enjoyed this cheese first with a tasty hard cider, and then with a delicious Tempranillo red (made from traditionally Spanish grapes.  Go figure.).  We finished up the ends by melting them onto a piece of toast for a tasty, spicy snack.  A great cheese for the last Wednesday of the year!

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