Almogrote is a dish belonging to the La Gomero islands of the Canaries. It is a kind of cheese paste made from unpasteurized cheese obtained from a goat. The ingredient is unavailable outside the Canary Islands although it can be shipped at exorbitant prices. A particular form of Almogrote recipe also recommends using a mixture of both goat as well as sheep’s cheese. There are several varieties of Almogrote which vary in minute details with the main difference being in the proportion of the ingredients used.
The Almogrote is usually made by hand by utilising a mortar and pestle. The recipe calls for all the ingredients to be chopped into small pieces and then ground together. The type of cheese used to prepare Almogrote may be hard or a matured form of cheese. The dish is also known as Almogrote Gomera, and is also sometimes referred to as Canarian cheese pate.
History Of Almogrote
Food experts believed that the term has been derived from almodrote, a sauce made from garlic and oil. Another school of though credit the Arabs for inventing the dish. The word may have come from the Arabic term of al mojrot which means a cheese salsa.
The ingredients that go into a basic Almogrote consist of cheese, paprika, garlic, red peppers and olive oil. Using tomatoes is not mandatory for making the dish.
It is usually served on toast along with a glass of chilled wine.
Variations of the Almogrote Recipe
- Almogrote Receta- Contains potatoes with cloves being used to lend a spicy flavour.
- Cheese Paste- The American version is made with a combination of butter and cheese often seasoned with mustard.
- Almogrote Guachinerfe- Prepared with cured cheese, garlic and vegetable oil.
Nutrition of the Almogrote Dish
The use of goat’s cheese in the Almogrote makes it a healthier alternative to the conventional cheese paste. It is low in calories and cholesterol while being particularly rich in calcium. The amount of carbohydrates in the dish is lesser too unless potatoes have been included in the paste. The secondary ingredients of garlic, paprika and olive oil are considered to be healthy as well with the amount of vitamins within the dish increasing considerably with the addition of fresh peppers and tomatoes.
- 1 cup manchego cheese ( substitute with Pecorino Romano if Manchego is unavailable)
- 1 whole cayenne pepper
- 1 medium ripe tomato
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Crush all the ingredients with the mortar or electric mixer until you get a thick, smooth paste that spreads easily on bread. It is easier if you grate the cheese beforehand.
The quantities used here are intended as an indication only. The more garlic and pepper used, the stronger and spicier it will be.
In many traditional recipe books, tomato was used and, in our opinion, this element considerably improves the final product, giving a more refined and soft mixture. If tomato is used, you can omit the paprika, or at least use a lot less.
The gradual decline in the use of tomato in this recipe is due to the fact that almogrote goes off and has to be consumed quickly as it cannot be stored.