Black pepper can also be substituted or combined with cayenne pepper to add a little zest to the almogrote.
Almogrote is a cheese dish that has a soft but somewhat thick texture, ideal for spreading on bread. It originates from the Canary Islands, particularly in La Gomera. Many people also consider the dish a Spanish cuisine, as the Canary Islands are one of Spain’s autonomous communities. In addition to spreading it on bread, almogrote can also be used on vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes.
Almogrote is traditionally made from unpasteurized goat’s milk cheese.
There are two possible derivations for the word “almogrote”. Some say it originated from the Arabic term “al mojrot”, which means “cheese sauce”. Others say it may have come from the Spanish word “almodrote”, which is also a sauce made primarily from oil and garlic. Both possible derivations speak of how Canarian cuisine has influences from Arab and Spanish culture.
Almogrote is sometimes served with tomatoes or other vegetables.
Traditionally, almogrote is made from leftover, hardened, unpasteurized cheese, usually made from goat’s milk. The cheese is then broken into smaller pieces by a mortar and pestle, or a modern food processor for a faster method. To further soften the cheese, olive oil is added. Added to the mix are other simple seasonings such as garlic, pepper and salt, all of which must be finely chopped for the mixture to blend well.
In some cases, ingredients are substituted or combined with other ingredients to give a different flavor. Goat cheese can be mixed with sheep’s cheese, which has a creamier texture than the goat variety. Black pepper can also be substituted or combined with cayenne pepper for a spicier twist. Tomatoes can also be included as an optional ingredient to add more acidity to the dish.
Some cheese makers make other variations of the Canarian cheese spread by adding other ingredients. Almogrote Receta includes cloves, but also potatoes, whose starch gives the dish more creaminess. Almogrote Guachinerfe is made with cured or aged cheese and replaces olive oil with vegetable oil. Some Americanized versions of the cheese platter occasionally add mustard and butter for a different flavor, texture, and color.
An important step in preparing the almogrote is to remove the oil that has emerged from the cheese once it has hardened, as the inclusion of the oil can affect the texture and flavor of the dish. This cheese spread also contains some nutritional benefits, most notably the significant amount of calcium in the cheese. Olive oil provides the body with healthy monounsaturated fat, while garlic is known to contain antioxidants that keep the body’s cells healthy.