Traditional and delicious dairy products around the province
Cheese from Málaga is a local product that is held as cultural and gastronomical heritage that appears in the last cheese catalogue that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment published. This product is made with pure goat milk from goat exploitations in Málaga. Their traditional area of production is the province of Málaga.
They are currently in the process of getting the Guarantee mark and the Designation of origin for this product. That is why, in 2005, they created the cheese association ‘La Asociación Quesos de Málaga’, that also works to improve cheese quality, increase its consumption and expand its market. There are more than 20 artisanal cheese shops in the province of Málaga, the main artisanal cheese activity in Andalucía, that work with traditional procedures and use new technologies that follow the most strict sanitary and hygenic controls. They use milk from their own farm, located very near to their factory, which ensures the daily production of milk. These small and medium size companies are an importante source of employment in Málaga. The need 6 litres of goat milk to make a kilo of cheese from Málaga. The most traditional cheese in Málaga is fresh goat cheese, but there are other quality and known ones.
In Málaga, there is currently a wide variety of cheeses, depending pn its curation and the milk treatment: fresh cheese, semi-mature and mature cheese, with extra virgin olive oil, with sweet pepper ,with rosemary, with Pedro Ximénez wine, with thyme, with fresh herbs, with curd, with pasteurized milk and regular milk. They are normally cheeses that have natural crust, with just a 30% of fats. Other dairy products such as yogurts, desserts and ice cream show the potential that the dairy industry has. Despite the amount of milk produced in Málaga, 70.000.000 litres per year, only 9% is destined to make cheese. The rest is sold to national and international dairy industries. Nowadays, there is an interest to promote the creation of artisanal cheese shops among farmers with a pasteurized milk package plant in Casabermeja, with the objective of bringing freshly milked goats from Málaga with consumers, restaurants, bakers and ice cream artisans.
Cheese from Málaga is made from Serranía de Ronda, located in the western area of the province, to Axarquía. Málaga has always had an importante cheese tradition, since it is a province that hlds the ideal conditions to breed goats. This huge area is divided into three greographically different areas: Serranía de Ronda, Valle del Guadalhorce and western Costa del Sol. However, they produce cheese in Málaga in many different places, such as in Casares, Colmenar, Tolox, Ronda, Coín or Campillos, among others.
Goats from Málaga were actually born from two types of ancient goats. The first type is the Pyrenean mountain goat, which came from the north of the Peninsual, and the other was the Maltese goat, original from the African continente. This mix found in Málaga the ideal environment to reproduce. From a historical point of view, breed is one of the most important influences that has affected the different types of Spanish goats. The Payoya goat or Montejaque goat are original from Sierra de Grazalema, located between the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga.
Cheeses made from goat milk of goats that pasture provides the cheese with some organoleptic characteristics that come from the flora of each area, varying also with seasons. These qualities can be easily apreciated in artisanal cheese made from raw milk, whose milk has not been treated with heat so they preserve the original qualities of the milk and have smells and flavours that are hard to obtain artificially in industrial cheeses.
Goats from Málaga, despite being a breed associated with milk (each nanny goat can produce an average of 500 litres per year), they are also important for meat production. Their three main products are milk, cheese and suckling lamb. They are also used to produce goat meat products and liver suckling lamb pâté from Málaga.