Caravane is modern-day’s, first camel cheese produced in the early nineties by Nancy Abeiderrhamane. Its similarity to camembert has earned Caravane the nickname, ‘camelbert cheese’. Her dairy, Tiviski, located in the capital of West African Mauritania makes this cheese with the help of milk collected from the local camel herds. Vegetable rennet and calcium phosphate is used in the cheese-making process for a better and unique yield.
By using a special enzyme to achieve the correct consistency, the dairy produces Caravane, a soft cheese with a white crust. It is made using the bloomy-rind technique. Even though it is very difficult to produce this cheese, the low lactose content has a digestive advantage when preparing various dishes requiring less lactose. The cheese is used in cakes, dips, appetizers, savory meat and various vegetable preparations. Its creamy taste creates an exciting pairing with red wine.
Since the Mauritanians don’t eat much cheese, the EU has not implemented regulation policies for dromedary camel products. This has made it difficult to source the cheese in Europe and America. However, with the help of Gary Guthrie, an American importer, the cheese is now available in select New York stores.
Caravane is a very healthy cheese as it packs in more nutrients, anti-bacterial enzymes, low fat content and vitamins than regular cow’s, buffalo’s, sheep’s or goat’s cheese. In fact, it has 3 times more nutrients than cow’s milk.