Day 59:My Mozzarella “Michael Jackson” Cheese

I have to admit it- I don’t really like fresh mozzarella.  Even when I lived in Italy (the land where this cheese originated) and bought the freshest of the fresh at the local market, I didn’t like it. However, despite my taste buds’ lack of attraction to the slimy balls, my mom likes it and having always wanted to make it, thought this was a great idea.

I found this recipe from Ricki, the Cheese Queen, and set out to buy my ingredients. This proved to be just as hard as the actual process. I was looking for Rennet and Citric Acid, and walking back to my car from what was the second unsuccessful search (I tried a Giant and Rite Aid), I was feeling frustrated. Not only did these stores not have either of these products, but the managers and customer service workers I talked to didn’t even know what they were and I ended up looking stupid when I couldn’t even tell them, because I had no idea either! I decided to try one more place: Frey’s, a small, independent health food store in Hellertown (which I might add has served my family well in providing the craziest and most random health food things ever). I asked the woman if they had Rennet and she was like, “Sure do” and promptly led me to a little blue box. The Citric Acid was, of course, 10 inches away.

My day was looking a little bit brighter. I was about to make Giada proud.

Instead of walking you through the process I’ll just skip to the point. I made cheese. The thing is…. it isn’t really mozzarella. In fact, it’s so not mozzarella that my mom is returning the ricotta cheese she just bought today and using my cheese in its place in her lasagna. That’s right! Somewhere in my mistake-filled process, my mozzarella cheese, taking a cue from Michael Jackson, changed itself and came out ricotta.

If I had to diagnose the problem, I  think it might have been because I put the curd back on the heat too many times for too long. So my cheese got really dry. I blame this on the fact that my thermometer was old and awful and so I never knew what temperature the milk was at.

Unlike Michael Jackson, though, my cheese turned out better after its metamorphosis. It was delicious!

And P.S. – You know how in the nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet, Little Miss Muffet eats curds and whey? That is so gross!! The curds? OK. The whey? NOT OK! Someone needs to re-write that so our kids don’t get any disgusting ideas.

my RICOTTA cheese

the whey. yes, it looks disgusting.

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