Lanzarote’s cheese factory, Finca de Uga de Lanzarote, crafts the finest cheese in the Canary Islands, and their aged pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, Don Nicolás, has been acclaimed as the top cheese in the archipelago for the year 2023 at the Official Agrocanarias Competition. This prestigious event, organized by the Canary Islands Government through the Canary Islands Institute of Agri-Food Quality (ICCA), aims to recognize the best productions across the islands. Among 165 cheeses from 56 producers, Don Nicolás stood out as the absolute winner.
In addition to this outstanding achievement, the cheese factory also garnered the children’s jury award for their Rojillo semi-cured pasteurized goat’s milk cheese, which is spread with paprika. Furthermore, they received a Gold Medal for their Vulcano pasteurized milk cured cheese, a blend of cow, goat, and sheep’s milk, and a Silver Medal for their Secreto del Majo pasteurized tender goat cheese.
The competition presented a total of twelve Grand Gold Medals, nineteen Gold Medals, twelve Silver Medals, and seven special distinctions, making it a highly competitive and celebrated event.
Aborigen, a raw-milk cured goat’s cheese crafted by Jénifer Santos Cabrera from Tenerife, secured the award for Best Image and Presentation and was also recognized as the Best Organic Cheese. Luis Martel Perdomo’s Era del Cardón raw-milk cured goat’s cheese from Gran Canaria won the prize from the popular jury, in addition to receiving a Gold Medal. Rosario Cabrera Negrín’s Queso de Plácido raw-milk tender goat’s cheese from La Gomera took home the prize for the best limited production and a Grand Gold Medal.
The other Grand Gold Medals were awarded to various exceptional cheeses, such as Maxorata pasteurized tender goat’s milk (DOP Queso Majorero, Grupo Ganaderos de Fuerteventura), Julián Díaz semi-cured pasteurized goat’s milk cheese spread with paprika, and Julián Díaz pasteurized cured goat’s milk cheese spread with gofio (both PDO Queso Majorero, produced by Arquema SL).
La Pared semi-cured raw goat’s milk cheese spread with paprika (PDO Queso Majorero, from Ganadería La Pared), Queso de Tetir de leche cruda curado de cabra (PDO Queso Majorero, by Quesos Tetir SL), El Caidero de leche cruda viejo de vaca (produced by Yolanda Arencibia Díaz, Gran Canaria), La Pastorcita of cured raw sheep’s milk spread with gofio (Ganadería La Pared, Fuerteventura), and El Minero de Granja Ara of raw goat’s milk with ash coating and Penicillium Candidum (by Melquiades Ancor Expósito Hernández, Tenerife).
El Cortijo de Caideros brand, owned by Cristóbal Antonio Moreno Díaz, received three Grand Gold Medals for its exceptional cheeses: Queso de Guía made from raw semi-cured sheep’s milk, Queso de Media Flor made from a mixture of vegetable rennet and others, and Queso de Flor made from vegetable rennet, all from the PDO Queso de Flor de Guía, Queso de Media Flor de Guía, and Queso de Guía (Gran Canaria).
Gold medals for Lanzarote, La Gomera, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria
Numerous cheeses from various producers were awarded Gold Medals, including El Tofio pasteurized milk pasteurized soft smoked goat’s cheese (Grupo Ganaderos de Fuerteventura), El Farito pasteurized milk pasteurized soft smoked goat’s cheese (Quesería El Faro, Lanzarote), Guarapo pasteurized milk semi-cured smoked goat’s cheese (Guarapo Colombina, La Gomera), Montesdeoca de leche pasteurizada curado de cabra (Lácteos Montesdeoca, Tenerife), Montesdeoca de leche pasteurizado viejo de cabra y oveja untado con gofio, La Candilera de leche cruda tierno de cabra ahumado (DOP Queso Palmero, made by Moisés Carmona).
Also deserving of Gold Medals were La Ampuyenta de leche cruda tierno de cabra (Héctor Luis Cabrera, Fuerteventura), Caprarius de leche cruda semi-cured goat’s milk spread with paprika (PDO Queso Majorero, Rayco Ramos Rodríguez), El Caidero de leche cruda viejo de cabra (Yolanda Arencibia, Gran Canaria), Camino de Inciensos de leche cruda semicurado de vaca (María del Carmen Montesdeoca Pérez, Gran Canaria), Cortijo de Pavón de leche cruda semicurado de oveja (PDO Flor de Guía, Media Flor de Guía, and Queso de Guía, made by José de la Cruz Mendoza), and Manjar de Tejeda de leche cruda tierno de mezcla (Escolástica María Mayor Huertas, Gran Canaria).
Granja Las Cuevas brand, represented by Félix Alberto Gil Rodríguez from La Palma, received five Gold Medals for their exquisite smoked raw milk cured blended cheese, raw milk aged blended cheese, raw milk cured sheep’s cheese, raw milk aged sheep’s cheese, and raw milk semi-cured blended cheese spread with gofio.
These awards showcase the exceptional craftsmanship and dedication of the Canary Islands’ cheese producers, reflecting the rich and diverse flavors that make their cheeses stand out on a global scale.