Hands up how many of you have actually tasted proper fresh ricotta?
I have never yet managed to find the real thing away from Italy.
I have tried but all I can get is a packaged tasteless and refined version which is a completely different product altogether. Although commercial ricotta can be quite handy as it lasts longer and it is very versatile in the kitchen, it is light years away from the precious fresh product and if consumed on its own it is pretty much tasteless.
Now let’s think of real ricotta: a sweet soft fluffy cheese that melts in your mouth and with a deep milky almost buttery fresh taste. You spread it on fresh ciabatta bread and when you sink your teeth you hear the crunch of the bread which combined with the ricotta is simply divine, it will send you straight to heaven. And what’s great about it is that it is light and just perfect if you are on a diet.
Now, let’s look at how to make ricotta. The process is simple.
Literally the word ricotta means “re-cooked” as it is made with whey following what’s left during the process of cheese making. It is formed by coagulating the proteins that remain after the casein has been used to make cheese.
Here you can see the milk which has coagulated
The whey is then collected using a bowl and it is put in a stainless steel container
A bowl of milk is added (but this is not always necessary) to the whey to add creaminess to the ricotta
The whey is then heated to a temperature of 85 Degrees Celsius (near boiling).
And now the chemistry trick: lactic acid which coagulates the whey when it is added
And 30 seconds later…
Ricotta is formed and harvested using a colander
Soft, fluffy and delicious and with no additives.. this is proper ricotta!
And now check out my “homemade” video! I hope you enjoy it!