The most common coagulant used in cheese-making is an enzyme found in the stomachs of cows, sheep and goats. This fascinating article explores an alternative coagulant, thistle bloom, and the historical, religious and geographical reasons for its existence. These cheeses, smooth and creamy, can still be found in pockets of the Iberian Peninsula, Mallorca and the village of Gua on the island of Gran Canaria. The production of these cheeses is small and although some have achieved the status of "denomincin de origen" (denomination of origin), along with other fine foodstuffs, some varieties have disappeared due in part to the strict hygiene rules of the European Union and the reliability and convenience of synthetic and animal enzymes.

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