cheese and cheesemaking
This page contains a short introduction to making cheese at
A little introduction.
I owe all I know to various people form it.hobby.cucina, in particular
Also, there are a few books around on
cheesemaking, the last one I read is "Cheesecraft: A Manual for
Cheesemaking" by Rita Ash and Susan Cutting (mainly on English
cheese), but you can find many others around. All the "scientific"
information you can find here comes from discussion on
it.hobby.cucina (especially with Marilus), or form other sources,
such as Professor
Fankhauser pages on cheese.
What is cheese?As you know, you cannot keep milk for more
than a few days, especially if it is untreated: you can imagine
cheese as a way to preserve the nutrients of milk for longer. You
can think of cheese as the "solid" version of milk. If you are
interested in the composition of
a look at this page. Milk can go through a number of steps
before it is converted into cheese: for instance, remove cream to
make butter, then make cheese, then make ricotta. In this page I
take a simpler approach and I start from whole milk to make cheese.
Essentially, there are two ways to obtain a kind-of-solid product
Let's make cheese, finally! This is the procedure
for nearly all cheeses made with rennet, the different
parameters to obtain different cheeses are explained later.
How to make crescenza: Crescenza (aka stracchino
in some Italian regions) is a soft, creamy cheese, with high
water content. Follow the procedure as above, but cut the
curd in 3cm cubes, not less. Strain the crescenza and try to
keep the humidity as high as possible (for instance by
covering the strainer with cling film), and salt the surface
every day (you can obtain a better result if you soak the
crescenza on salted water the first day). Crescenza is ready
after 5 days more or less, it should be creamy and slightly
acid (acidophilus is the kind of bacteria you need). If you
wait two days only and you do not soak the curd in water but
only sprinkle salt on top, you'll obtain the so-called primo
sale. Crescenza is typically square, so use a square
strainer if possible.
How to make ricotta: Coming soon! :-)