Locavore on the Road: Portland, Oregon

When I was planning my west coast research trip in support of my upcoming book Small Batch: The Fall and Rise of Artisanal Pickle, Cheese, Chocolate, and Alcoholic Spirits in America (Alta Mira Press) – I almost didn’t plan to … Continue reading

Homemade Mozzarella

I often buy balls of mozzarella from Fiore at the local farmer’s market. For $5 I get a sandwich bag of deliciousness, almost always made that morning. Which got me thinking – if this small cheese company can make countless balls of mozz before 9am, it can’t be too hard for me to make a few of my own! I did a bit of research and discovered that besides milk, I would need rennet and citric acid, both of which can be bought from any number of cheese making sources. Luckily, New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, one of the best known and respected sources, is located barely more than an hour away (thus supporting a local business as well).  Online, I ordered the beginner mozarella and ricotta kit – promising 30 minute mozz – all I needed to add was the milk.

A few days later when my kit was delivered, I made a quick trip to Sherman’s for a gallon of milk. I buy all of my dairy from Sherman’s anyway, but in particular fresh cheese must be made from milk that isn’t “ultra-pasteurized” – which is about the only kind that most large grocery stores sell. Thus proper sourcing of the key ingredient is important. Procuring the milk was almost the hardest part – once home there were only a few steps of heating the milk, adding the citric acid and rennet, stirring and stretching. NE Cheesemaking Supply Co was right! – I had four balls of mozz ($20 worth by farmer’s market prices) less than 30 minutes later – ready to be sampled. So easy – and delicious!