Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day seventytwo....

Tiviski Into Action

What do you envisage when you think of the northern African country of Mauritania? The beautiful Moorish music. Music made by the ethnic group the Moors not music that you want more of.

But that's not what I am looking for. Fat women? Well yes it is famous for its portly ladies as they see obesity as a sign of wealth and therefore more attractive to the males. Men would drool at the sight of stretch marks and fat ankles. They even have "fat farms" were young girls as young as 7 are sent to fatten up. But it is now losing this quirk as it is seen as old fashioned and now only 11% of young girls are force fed. But that's not what I am here to discuss.

One of the foods used to plump up the Mauritanian mistresses was camel milk. It has a very high fat content. And well where there is milk, cheese often follows.

The camel cheese is called Caravane and is a soft briesque cheese that has an 'animal' taste. Some liken it to goats cheese, but those are the people who liken every meat to chicken. It was invented by a Miss Nancy Abeiderrahmane. She started a dairy in 1989 called Tiviski and the nomads would bring their camels to her for milking. However quite often her supply would be greater than the demand and she went about looking for other ways to preserve excess milk. This is quite similar reasoning to how sheep and goats milk cheese evolved. Unfortunately camels milk doesn't have the proteins need to curdle the milk. This did not stop Nancy and she found a Frenchman who discovered an enzyme that helped the curdling and in 1994 the first camel cheese was produced.

A lovely tale that conjures up images of a bygone world. A nomadic existence. Moving on from place to place unable to settle. Like the scene of Lawrence of Arabia, dust, sand, camels, and beautiful young crews.

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