For me, there is nothing better than fresh ricotta, the original sheep’s milk ricotta. During the spring season, sheep graze on fresh young grass and herbs, which import a delicate flavor to the ricotta.
Often times misrepresented, ricotta is actually not a cheese but a creamy curd. Shepherds utilize whey, a limpid, low-fat, nutritious liquid that is a by-product of cheese production. This leftover hot whey has milk solids and proteins that solidifies under high heat. When the whey is reheated, the solid parts fuse, create a curd, and are skimmed off. This curd, after drainage, is ricotta. Ricotta is known as a lean dairy product and contains very little fat, less than 5%, and very noble proteins; lactoalbumin and lactoglobulin.
The curd is literally cooked twice, re-cooked like its name.
Every week a Shepherd stops by our house to deliver his artisanal creations. His ricotta just happens to be my favorite. I think I see a Torta di Ricotta in the future…
Our plate of ricotta sitting next to my festa della donna mimosa flower arrangement, that was delivered on Saturday....
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