Chefchaouen Goat’s Jben

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Goat’s Jben from Chefchaouen is a traditional, fresh goat’s cheese. Its production, preservation and consumption are connected with the Chefchaouni territory and identity. It has been present and a highly regarded product from the Tanger-Tetouan region for about 50 years. It is connected to the local tradition of goat breeding and extensive pasturing. The goats feed in natural pastures, rich in native aromatic and medicinal plants. The cheese is made from unpasteurized milk and from natural rennet, either from the young ruminant’s stomach or from fig sap. The cheese is preserved thanks to the addition of salt.   Goat’s jben is consumed for breakfast, sometimes accompanied by olive oil, by msemen (pancackes) or by bread. The cheese must be “washed” before being consumed, because of the salt used in preservation. Sales of the cheese are an income supplement for the goat breeders, who sell their cheese in the weekly souks (market) of the region. Goat’s jben is produced mainly by families, and so the quantity of production is very low. However, there is also a creamery, Ajbane Chefchaouen, which produces some jben from mixed breed or alpine races of goats. In this production, the milk is pasteurized and lactic ferments are added.

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Milk and milk products