Lanzarote's bilingual magazine

Canarian cheeses

In the Canary Islands, cheese is an art form steeped in quality, tradition, artisanal craftsmanship, and innovation, garnering numerous international awards

Cheese is one of the jewels of Canarian gastronomy, appreciated by so many that there is little left for export. It is so beloved, in fact, that it boasts the highest cheese consumption per inhabitant in Spain and the most artisan cheesemakers per square metre in Europe.
This deep-rooted love for cheese is woven into the very fabric of Canarian culture, and in recent years there has been a surge in its popularity and potential. Not only are more and more artisan cheesemakers popping up across the islands, but the focus on quality, recognition and innovation is stronger than ever.
The Canary Islands have three Protected Denominations of Origin: PDO Queso Palmero, PDO Queso Majorero and PDO Queso de Flor de Guía, which include the Gran Canarian municipalities of Santa María de Guía, Gáldar and Moya. However, exceptional cheeses can be found throughout the islands, many of which have received international awards.
In recent years, a wave of creativity and innovation has seen Canarian cheesemakers experiment with methods and flavours. Some have started to produce creamy cheeses infused with herbs and spices, flavoured butters and other delicious Canarian specialities like almogrote.
One unusual creation is a semi-soft cheese macerated in prickly pear juice with a striking, fuchsia-coloured rind. Depending on the dairy, it is made with pure goat’s milk or with goat’s milk and cow’s milk combined. It has a delightful, creamy but firm texture. As you cut into it, the mildly tangy taste of the goat’s cheese blends with the sweetness of the prickly pear to create a delicious and unique flavour combination.
Another standout product is the semi-cured cheese matured in red wine. It boasts a pleasingly firm texture, the rich, enjoyable notes of goat’s milk, and a balanced acidity. Its creaminess and lingering aftertaste are complemented by the subtle flavour of red wine, revealed by its purple-red rind.
Further innovative creations include herby cheeses with rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, thyme and basil. And fruity cheeses flavoured with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, crushed raspberries, red fruits, or even macadamia nuts.


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