Transhumance, milking and milk from the PDO cheese “Queso de Flor de Guía”

Milking a herd of transhumance sheep.

SANTA MARÍA DE GUÍA. Cheeses of the PDO Queso de Flor de Guía y Queso de Guía are developed in the municipalities of Moya, Gáldar and Santa Maria de Guía with a mixture of various milks, having as main ingredient of sheep’s milk canaria, which can add a smaller amount of cow’s milk and / or goat’s Canary Islands. Sheep are grazed and farmers practice transhumance between the coast and the peaks of the island in search of better pastures. After milking, we must sift the raw milk, then you have to add vegetable rennet from cardo for “queso de flor-flower cheese” (or mix milk with animal rennet and vegetable rennet if “Queso de Media Flor-half flower cheese”). To coagulate, cut the curd with lyres and let stand to drain the whey. Pressed by hand on the cheese and stored in caves over hurdles.

Click each picture to see larger size. Photo report: Yuri Millares.

1- Canary ewes crossed the summit of Gran Canaria to go to summer pastures.
2- The sheep of northern Gran Canaria are the only archipelago still perform the migration.
3- These sheep are looking for summer grazing through a pine forest affected by fire.
4- Transhumance routes start from the north through trails and highways across the island.
5- The Canarian ewe is the result of centuries of genetic selection for pastors islanders.
6- The shepherds also raise some cows that are in a cave.
7- To curdle milk for cheese flower, farmer’s wife prepares a thistle tea.
8- When pouring in the milk thistle rennet, this gives the cheese a unique flavor and texture.
9- The cheeses are pressed by hand to extract the whey of the curd.
10- The shepherd, in El Inciensar, go to milk with a sack of corn.
11- The milking of sheep and transport of milk from the flock is hard work …
12- … There are few young people working in this tough job with migratory sheep.
13- The Denomination of Origin “Queso de Flor de Guía and Queso de Guía” also includes those made with animal rennet.
14- Still-life of the best cheeses of the PDO “Queso de Flor de Guía y Queso de Guía”.
15- This flock of sheep are milked in Montañón Negro from mid June to late July.
16- The shepherd brings migratory sheep in the flock for milking, wherever they are.
17- The cheese “Queso de Flor-flower cheese” is the only one of the Canary Islands and one of the few in the world with vegetable rennet.

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