Almogrote (The Canary Islands)
The cooking traditions of the Canary Islands are uncharted territory for many Spanish eaters, likely due to the distance that separates the islands from the peninsula. These traditions however offer plenty of scrumptious surprises, and one of them is the delicious Almogrote from the Island of Gomera.
This is more or less a cheese and tomato spread, and it’s easy to make. All you need is ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, sweet paprika, a little pepper, and cheese. The best cheese to use is queso duro gomero (gomero hard cheese), to get that authentic Canary flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can use any aged or medium aged cheese.
So now it’s time to throw on our aprons and get started. Firstly, shred the cheese as finely as possible. Next, place the tomatoes in boiling water for just a few seconds to peel them and remove the seeds easier. Afterward, place them on a cooking tray with the peeled garlic, the oil, the pepper, and the paprika and cook for 20 minutes on 180º. Then, take it out of the oven and let it cool a little. Blend these ingredients and mix the cheese in until it takes on the consistency of pâté. And now you’re done: you can have it as a sauce or you can spread it on bread.
This is just one way to make Almogrote, you can fix an even easier version by mixing the cheese with the oil and the paprika without having to use tomatoes or a blender. As we often say "cada maestrillo tiene su librillo".