Say cheese...

Ever wondered how mozzarellas are made? Lately a friend of mine wanted to find out, so we got together and tried. Several sets of instructions can be found online and the do not always agree on amounts. They do, however, agree that the heating temperatures must be precise if you want it to work. Which is especially hard if you have an electric stove. That is why we had to get a thermometer for food. Ours in particular was designed for frying and for candies (not sure what those two have in common other than being tasty and unhealthy).

At our first batch we tried an easier version of the instructions found online. Add the citric acid, then the rennet, heat, separate, swirl, separate more, drip the whey and keep the curd and so on. Once it seems separated enough you can work the cheese like a pizza dough. That's the fun part, because, depending on how much water you took out of it, it can be worked into fun shapes. 

So how did it turn out? Well... we forgot the salt. And a couple of hours after making it, it was incredibly squeaky on the teeth, like Haloumi. The next day it still did not look like mozzarella, but both taste and texture got surprisingly close to a nice Scamorza cheese. 

At our second batch we felt confident enough to try a trickier verision of the instructions, that required more time at each step. We hoped to get much closer to a proper mozzarella. But the curd never did set and we ended up making just a lot of Ricotta. It was not all bad though, because the ricotta that we did not devour immediately with honey and fruit, ended up going into a delicious Rigatoni al Forno, with homemade ragu and bechamel. No, I did not take a picture of the Rigatoni. We just ate them.

So, all right, the cheese never turned up the way we wanted it, but it still tasted good. And a significant part of that "good" was because it tasted like something we had made from scratch. It tasted like we earned it. Still, I have to try that mozzarella recipe again, then you'll see the amazing pizzas I will make with it!
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