Cheese Give the Gift of Good Taste!

“Gozo is rich in its flocks and merry with its vineyards”, wrote the Roman poet Marcus Valerius (c. 40-102AD) Goats, sheep and cows were first bred in Gozo by the  early settlers, who some 7,000 years ago crossed the 100 kilometre stretch from Sicily to Gozo. The craft of cheese making was possibly the most  important craft of a farmer’s wife in Gozo and cheese making traditions were passed on from generation to generation as part of the family heirloom. The best cheese is prepared from  sheep’s milk during late autumn and early winter when grass is plentiful. After milking, natural rennet, a milk-coagulating enzyme, is added to the milk. Once settled, the curd is spooned into cup like containers called qaleb. These cheese forms, about 8cm high, were traditionally made of rushes but today food-grade plastic is used for more hygiene. The curd is left to settle for some hours and then the hurdles flipped over to create the famous Gozitan fresh gbejna (cheeselets). Savina’s cheeselets are a tribute to Gozitan, traditional cheese-making. These artisan cheeselets, made with sheep’s milk, undergo a gentle pasteurisation heat process that guarantees a safer product without effecting the great taste of the traditional Gozitan ġbejna.

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