November 12, 2005 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Homemade cheese is where it's at, making cheese at home is like extreme sports, but without the sweat and it tastes better. Learn to make your own mozzarella, ricotta, swiss. Some would consider cheese is an essential part of our diet. Some would even consider it an essential part of their music. That is if cheese actually existed. Ah, the power of cheese.
posted by bigmusic (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
the really good cheeses, like Bries, Gruyeres, Camemberts and the like, take way too much time although a fresh mozzarella is easily worth the effort.
posted by destro at 12:36 PM on November 12, 2005

Oh, What a Friend We Have in Cheeses
posted by growabrain at 12:37 PM on November 12, 2005

Now THIS is how to do a food post! I am totally trying the mozzarella.
posted by JanetLand at 12:37 PM on November 12, 2005

I love this post.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:38 PM on November 12, 2005

Okay, I'm convinced. Cheese does not exist.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:39 PM on November 12, 2005

Seas of cheese. mmm. Being lactose intolerant is a total downer, especially when reading yummy posts like this, although the drier goat's cheeses seem to work for me fine, in moderation. Maybe I'll try making that.
Also, if you made them small enough, you'd have these...
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:46 PM on November 12, 2005

I'd kill for some good fresh mozarella right now. Drizzled with a little olive oil and some basil. Mmm. Ok, I'm off to the store. Nice post, bigmusic.
posted by LeeJay at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2005

Zack, fermented cheeses contain no lactose. Lactose is the sugar found in milk; 98 percent of it is drained off with the whey (cheese is made from the curds), and the other 2 percent is quickly consumed by lactic-acid bacteria in the act of fermentation. If you have a bad reaction to cheese, especially hard cheese, you probably have a dairy allergy, not lactose intolerance.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:07 PM on November 12, 2005

mmm cheese, yeah the mozz recipe is going in my favorites bookmark
posted by edgeways at 1:46 PM on November 12, 2005

I was watching a few episodes of Good Eats a while ago, and was amazed at how similar the tofu-making process was to the cheese-making process (do it at home!, with... plaster of paris?).
posted by soma lkzx at 1:49 PM on November 12, 2005

If you have never had fresh, hand-made mozzarella, you are missing out on one of life's great pleasures.

Mmmmm. Must buy cheese tomorrow....
posted by kalimac at 2:29 PM on November 12, 2005

monju, you may be right - I haven't really looked into it in any depth. I'd eaten a litre of ice cream and a week later went back to eat more and felt ill after the second time. Noticed it with cheese, and then milk, and assumed that all the lactose enzyme in my system had been used up, and no more ice cream loving for me. (No it wasn't the amount I'd eaten, because I always did that.) Any suggestions on how I could rectify the situation? ...or maybe that's an AskMe question. I'd like to enjoy bigmusic's post to the fullest of it's cheesy love.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:47 PM on November 12, 2005

Cheese factory (at friend's farm).

Richard Cheese (no relation).
posted by Dick Paris at 4:25 PM on November 12, 2005

ccol post
posted by semmi at 4:39 PM on November 12, 2005

Great post - thanks.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:48 PM on November 12, 2005

I have a friend with a few of those "cheese factories". She has been considering cheesemaking to deal with some of the excess. I know it's allegedly not too difficult but am sure practice makes perfect. Thanks, bigmusic. Maybe this is the kick in the pants we need.

Sheep's milk cheese is good too, but if I mention that, she'll get all crazy and start a flock. She's like that.
posted by treehuggin'dirtworshiper at 4:49 PM on November 12, 2005

I am reminded of one of my favorite MST3K moments:

(Joel and the bots talk loudly over the noisy cheese-making machinery.)
Crow: Wow, Tommy, it looks all thick! Can we eat it now? Servo: Patience, Crow, proper aging is essential!
Joel: Hi everybody, welcome to the Satellite of Love... What's that smell?
Crow: Well, Joel, we started out making a little snack for today's movie.
Joel: Sounds like a good idea. What is that?
Servo: Frommage, mon ami, you know, cheese! I was just trying to expand the realm of snacking when I realized just how vital cheese is to a sound economy. And from now on, you're going to see actual cheese made here on the premises!
Gypsy: Here's the whey!
Servo: Thanks Gypsy!
Crow: Thanks girl! It's not like our other projects, like when we were raising veal.
Servo: Ugh!
Crow: Cheese is less sensitive to a volatile market! We're in on the beginning of a big micro-cheesery boom!
Joel: Well, let's check it out! It looks good...
crow: Of course it's good! America is leaning on cheese!
Joel: What?
Crow: America is leaning on cheese!
Joel: Right!
Servo: Now understand Joel, this is just the mixing tank. Now over here is where the starter is added, and then of course it gets pumped into the curding tank. That smell your experiencing is the enzymes, the active cultures in cheese!

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:00 PM on November 12, 2005

Wow, great post. Did anyone else notice that the cheesemaker from the first link was also a Freedom Rider?
posted by xthlc at 5:41 PM on November 12, 2005

One afternoon I got all excited about making mozzarella but by the time I read a bunch of articles/recipes online I was tired and overwhelmed and decided I'd just spend $5 for some fresh Mozz at the local organic store. One of these days I'll get around to attempting to make some fresh mozzarella.
posted by shoepal at 5:49 PM on November 12, 2005

Thank you.
posted by caddis at 6:16 PM on November 12, 2005

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:25 PM on November 12, 2005

Sadly, the education of the youth of amerika is declining in more than one way. The other day I was at the grocery store and the checker was unable to identify a fresh ricotta. And no, she wasn't new...and to make matters worse the checker next to her didn't know either.

(great post, thanks bigmusic)
posted by NorthernSky at 12:11 AM on November 13, 2005

Thanks for giving me another opportunity to plug The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, where, for not much more than it costs to buy a pound of quality fresh mozzarella you can get what you need to easily make 30 pounds (no, not all at once) of mozzarella and ricotta in your own kitchen. I promise you your lasagna will never by the same.
posted by ewagoner at 12:20 PM on November 13, 2005

I was going up to Ontario to take a cheesemaking class with M. Morris (site here), but had to cancel at the last minute. Very sad.

This post reminds me of my unnatural cravings for cheese all weekend...I think I ate more cheese this weekend than most people eat in a month.

Murray's Cheese in NYC even has a cheeseblog.

Mmmm, cheeseblog.
posted by at 8:35 AM on November 14, 2005

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