Say cheese!

Focus visit to Montesdeoca dairy

Over 30 people took part in a guided visit in English to the Montesdeoca cheese makers, based in the midlands of Adeje, and winners of countless regional, national and international prizes for their dairy products

The tour was given by Alberto Montesdeoca, who explained the origins of this fantastic food jewel in the Adeje gastronomy crown. Started by his grandfather when some of the family moved from La Palma to Tenerife, the business is still very much a family firm, making cheeses, butters and yogurts by hand from the 1,000+ goat herd on site.

The tour was organised by Focus, the Adeje group for international residents, who work to help international residents integrate, learn more about the borough, and discover they many pluses of living in this part of South Tenerife. Over 30 people of different nationalities signed up for the tour, which lasted over an hour.

Alberto first took us to see the goats and kids, explaining the milking process, how the goats are fed and kept, the breed used etc. We also met the newer kids who have their little ‘creche’ area.

The group were then brought indoors and we saw the cheese being mixed, moulded and stored. Alberto explained that they currently produce almost 20 different types of cheese, how the cheese is pasteurised, with different curing processes, some hard, some semi-hard, some matured and flavoured. The group then moved to the tasting room where four different cheeses were on offer giving the visitors some delicious examples of the products made by Montesdeoca.

The tour ended in the on-site shop, but people can also buy these fantastic cheeses at the Adeje farmers market ever Saturday and Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

(For more information about the farm and to arrange small group visits, the webpage for Montesdeoca is http://www.quesosmontesdeoca.com/)

Adeje’s cheeses – best in the world

 

The Adeje-based cheesemakers, Montesdeoca, have won Supergold at the World Cheese Awards as well as numerous other medals

 

The Adeje cheesemakers Montesdeoca have just returned from the London World Cheese Awards, which brings to together the world’s top dairy producers and sellers every year. This year there were 3,000 products competing from 33 countries.

Overall the Canary Islands took home numerous awards, with winners from Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife, where the Montesdeoca dairy took a total of 9 prizes.

For the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, “the success of this company is unparalleled, and is the result of a combination of hard work, dedication to things well done, to looking after staff and care for quality. This is a family company which also creates jobs. Montesdeoca works to ensure their products are quality products, using excellent primary materials and are a fine example of the kind of company that shows Adeje to be a borough that is productive, prosperous and attractive for investors”.

One of the titles awarded to Montesdeoca this year was a Supergold for their cured goat and oregano cheese. They won three silvers and five bronzes as well for their range of excellent cheeses, cured and semi-cured.

“This is an honour for our small family company” a spokesperson for Montesdeoca said”, “and we are now listed amongst the 66 best cheese-producers in the world, an achievement that we are delighted about”.

And you don’t have to travel far to try these world-class cheeses as their dairy is in Tijoco Bajo, by Llano de las Flores, or you can buy them every week, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, at the Adeje’s Farmers Market. More information on their cheeses is also available from their webpage www.quesosmontesdeoca.com.

 

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Rights for rural women

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“Sowing the seeds of equality leads to a balanced crop”

Thursday October 13th was International Day of Rural Women and here in Adeje there was a well-attended conference on the role of women in rural life in Tenerife, with a parallel conference having also taken place earlier in the same week in La Guancha in the north of the island.

This, the VIII Meeting of Rural Women of Tenerife, organised by the Cabildo Agricultural and Rural Development division and the Adeje council, was under the slogan (translated) “sowing the seeds of equality leads to a balanced crop”, and was attended by over 100 women working in the agricultural sector.

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The day began at 10am with a visit to the Montesdeoca Dairy. This enterprise is run by Ángeles García and has won numerous awards nationally and internationally for the quality and variety of their produce – cheeses, butter, goat´s milk yogurts, and wines, among other goods. During the visit the women were also invited to sample some of the produce.

The day continued with presentations at the CDTCA (the Costa Adeje Tourism Development Centre) from the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the Tenerife Cabildo agricultural councillor, both of them stressing “the importance of women in this sector in the Canaries and in Tenerife in particular”.

The mayor continued, “Women have always been the motor of our society. On their shoulders has fallen the responsibility of caring for the family, the home, and more, and under unequal conditions. In the world of agriculture women have also suffered discrimination and for that reason I want to underline how important and vital their contribution is.”

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The Cabildo’s Jesús Morales said that with this project “we want to guarantee fundamental equal opportunities for women, and establish open forums, where there can be an exchange of ideas, given the low visibility women have had in the agricultural sector up to now.” He added that it was important to increase awareness generally of the work that women do in the farming and agricultural sectors.

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A manifesto on behalf of rural women was read into the records, and among the demands was a call for better public initiatives favouring rural enterprise as well as technological innovation in the sector. Participants also welcomed the development at regional level of the law of shared titles, (Ley de Titularidad Compartida) which was working directly to given legal representation to women as partners in agricultural endeavours.

Gold Medal Cheese

ADEJE-quesería Montesdeoca

The Montesdeoca Dairy wins gold at Pinolere

Recently the cheese producers in Tenerife met during the III Pinolere Fair in the Parque Etnográfico de Pinolere in La Orotava, and this year Adeje cheese maker Montesdeoca won gold with their one year cured mature cheese. It was named best Tenerife cheese 2014. 

Daniel Montesdeoca said this “is an important award for us as it is the result of hard work and effort. We have always given priority to producing cheeses of high quality which people will select and enjoy for their flavour and texture”. He added that he was delighted that their cheeses were appreciated by so many people and promised that they would continue to work to improve the product and ensure that the island’s cheeses were known both here and outside Tenerife.
The Adeje councillor for Agriculture Esther Rivero Vargas explained that the “Pinolere fair is the perfect setting for displaying all of the island’s natural produce and of course promoting the cheese making industry and culture which has been recognised with this award”.

The Montesdeoca dairy makes a variety of different cheeses including smoked, semi-cured, cured, gofio and pepper cheeses and this prize winning mature cured cheese. Members of the public interested in buying the cheeses can do so in the dairy, which is in Tijoco, driving up from Llano de las Flores or at the stand in the Adeje Farmers’ Market every weekend, (8am -2pm, Saturdays and Sundays). Councillor Rivero Vargas said, “the Adeje Farmers’ Market, as well selling as this winning cheese, which is delicious, offers a great selection of locally grown produce”.