Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico
Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico


Here cannot be taught all the process of making cheese. Here can be given only some basics. Cheese can theoretically be made from the milk of any ruminant species. The milk of other mammals hardly contains any caseine.

In the process of making cheese, a strict hygiene is indispensable. Hands, implements and floor must be completely clean. Dish towels collect germs and are not used. Natural smells of the body are no problem; penetrant perfumes, however, can change the taste of the cheese. Woollen clothes cannot be worn. Although also during milking a higiene is important, the clothes during this process cannot be the same like in the shed.

To make cheese, the caseine must be split so that it is no more soluble in water and so gets solid, that is, the milk curdles. Then the solid must be separated from the liquid, which is the whey.

To make milk curdle, there are several possibilities. One is to use rennet from calves or kids. But there are also some plants with similar properties. The figs with their white sap serve this purpose. On Ibiza the traditionally used plant is the cardoon.

In the professional cheese production there are usually bacteria cultures added, that's not common however in the home production of fresh cheese. Neither are bacteria cultures used in mozzarella. In some cheeses there are moulds added (of non harmful species), but that has no tradition on Ibiza.

The process concisely: We take milk of two milking times (evening and morning) or of a maximum of two days (four milking times), heat it to 25 ºC (77 ºF) and we add the bacteria culture. Then we go on heating slowly so that the bacteria can multiply. At some 32 ºC (90 ºF) we add the rennet, we mix, stop the movements of the milk and leave it covered during 35 minutes. We have a look if the consistency is good already, then we cut the curd, first into columns, and by and by into small grains, we heat slowly while we stir, till 42 ºC (108 ºF). (The temperatures vary according to the type of cheese.) Now we keep on stirring until the grains have the desired form and consistency. We put the grains in the moulds and those on the press for 12-24 hours. TGhe cheeses coming out of the moulds and press are put in the cellar and a day later in the salt bath, 6-24 hours according to their sizes. Afterwards we put them on the shelves of the cellar and rub them, the first days with salt water, then only with water, at the beginning every day, then every other day.

Matured cheeses contain only rests of lactose, so for persons with a complete lactose intolerance it is contraindicated, not so for people with a relative intolerance.

An Ibicencan speciality is the flaó, a cheese tart with a mixture of fresh goat cheese and eggs with spearmint.


Marí, Vicent: El formatge pagès. En: Món rural 2011: 2-4.

Janzing, Gereon: Käsekulturen – Die Geschichte ihrer Verwendung. In: Zalp 2001: 7-8.

Janzing, Gereon: Ziegenhaltung und Milchverarbeitung. In: Kritische Ökologie 80, Sommer 2013: 15-20.