Making Fresh Ricotta Cheese From Scratch in Sicily
|Making Fresh Ricotta Cheese From Scratch in Sicily
|Cultural Experiences on Our Sicily Island Vacations
|Jan 30, 2019
|making cheese making ricotta cheese ricotta in sicily
Making fresh Ricotta cheese is possibly one of the most amazing experiences our guests enjoy. It is one of those "back to basics" experiences that can hardly be described, but it is one our guests never forget. So we do it every chance we get!
We don't just make it, but we use what we made!
On our Soriano vacations, a local Shepard from Sardegna will come visit us at the villa one day on most weeks. He lives in the valley below Soriano, where he raises several hundred sheep. Each morning he wakes up, milks all of his sheep by hand, makes Ricotta cheese the old fashioned way, and sells it to the local markets. He then spends the rest of his day with his grazing sheep. When he visits us, he will bring some of the day's milk. We'll light a fire under a gigantic pot outside and start the process of making our cheese.
The first cheese that is produced is called "Caciotta". It is very similar to Mozzarella in feel and taste when it is fresh. We'll taste some and set some aside. Part of what we set aside will be used in our pizza class for one of the pizzas we make. We'll also form some in wheels that we will allow to age.
When you visit our cellar, you will see there is an area where we age our own Pecorino Cheese. This is made from the Caciotta we made with past guests! During the week, you will also be eating cheese that has been aging in our cellar, and was made by our past guests.
Once the Caciotta is made, we start the process once again with the remaining milk. The word "Ricotta" means "Re-Cooked". It is the second cheese made from the milk that becomes the Ricotta. Once our cheese has formed, we will drain it. This is the Ricotta that we will first taste with some honey, then serve with our dinner that night.
On our weeks based in Norcia, we visit a local Shepard in the hills above town. like Soriano, we go through the entire process of making the Caciotta, then the Ricotta, and tasting it all as we visit this beautiful family farm.
On our weeks in Sicily, we visit a local shepherd in the hills of the island. This is a truly special man, named "Gibarossa", who is one of the most amazing characters we encounter on our trips. We will make the Ricotta with him, but you are sure to be just as interested in him as a person as the Ricotta itself. We'll take the Ricotta we make today, and use it for our pastry cooking class the following day!