I’d rather eat goat’s cheese than cheese made with cow’s milk – for lots of reasons (some of which are below). The same can be said of yogurt (I make our own at home using either goat’s or sheep’s milk).
Nutritionally, goat’s cheese is easier to digest than cheese made with cow’s milk and it’s rich in probiotics and high in calcium. The fatty acids in goat’s cheese are metabolised faster too, which in theory, means we feel fuller more quickly. What’s not to love?
Eat Locally Made
Cheese from Mallorca? Yes. Menorca may be better known for its cow’s milk cheese, but artisans in Mallorca are also producing some excellent cheeses. Joan Gaià is one such cheesemaker and he’s based in Manacor, in the Llevant area of Mallorca.
Joan, who’s in his mid-thirties, listened to his heart and left his job to follow his dream: making goat’s cheese at the family finca. Formatgeria Es Collet is on the outskirts of Manacor (and has extensive views of the town and the backdrop of the Serra de Tramuntana).
Formatgeria Es Collet
Joan has been making his goat’s cheese for four years and learnt the process in the Pyrenees from a French producer. His goats are not the small, brown, wild type that sometimes jump into the road suddenly in the Serra de Tramuntana (be warned!). The goats pasturing at Formatgeria Es Collet are the Saanen breed, which originates from Switzerland. These white goats are the largest of the dairy goat breeds and produce the best quantity and quality of milk.
Joan knows a thing or two about marketing (I love his business’s logo) and customer service. To ensure his cheese arrives with customers in the best condition during the hot weather, he does summer deliveries on Mondays to customers in the Manacor area. The excellent Can March restaurant in Manacor uses his cheese, and it’s also on sale in the fruit and veg shop Na Camel-la in Manacor and at the Degust stall in Manacor’s produce market in Plaça de ses Verdures.
Open to Visitors on Saturday Mornings
Joan opens his gates on Saturday mornings (10:00-13:30hrs) under the Venda Directa scheme for visitors to see the goats, find out about production, and taste the cheeses (and buy if they wish). This Saturday-morning activity is particularly appealing for families, as children can feed the younger goats. The kids (four-legged variety) are now past the bottle-feeding stage, but I imagine that activity will be great fun for children when the next little ones are born.
We visited last Saturday – only the fifth week that Joan has opened to visitors. He explained that his goat’s cheese is not certified organic, but he follows the principles of organic production, such as using no chemicals on the land. Two families were also visiting when we were there and the small children were having great fun feeding the friendly young goats with pieces of bread.
Tastings of Es Collet Goat’s Cheeses
Joan brought out four types of his goat’s cheese and offered tastings and explanations. We loved them all, but our favourite was the Blau de Llet Crua de Cabra – a raw-milk blue cheese made with Penicillium Roqueforti.
We bought a piece of this delicious blue cheese and the Cremos – which makes a tasty addition to salads.
Joan Gaià has ideas to develop his business further and mentioned he may do evening tastings in the future, as the Es Collet finca is in a prime location for watching the sunset behind the Tramuntana mountains. He’s also taken part in cheese-and-wine pairing events. I’ll be keeping an eye open for these and any other future activities.
I started this post by saying I’d rather eat goat’s than cow’s milk cheese. I’ll add to that: I’d rather eat goat’s cheese that’s produced and sold locally (lower environmental impact, therefore more sustainable). I’d rather eat goat’s cheese made by an artisan with a passion for what he does. That’s why we’re going to buy goat’s cheese from Formatgeria Es Collet in future.
Formatgeria Es Collet is on Facebook and Instagram. Or call/WhatsApp 654 62 24 56 for more information.
Good to Know
Our map to get to Es Collet was a bit confusing. The finca is located in Cami de Tortova which, on the map, appeared to lead off the Ronda del Port (Manacor’s ring road). What you need to look for is the road Carrer de n’Antoni Fullana, which is almost opposite the multiplex cinema, at the side of a housing development. Cami de Tortova can be found a short distance along the Carrer, to the right. If the gates to Finca Es Collet are closed, there’s a bell to ring on the wall.
Jan Edwards ©2021