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Citric acid, Rennet, etc... what kind of stores carry these, typically? Also, possible substitutes?

adamclyde Aug 4, 2006 07:23 PM

The mozzarella thread below reminded me I've run out of these supplies. I know lots of places to get them online, but I'm really looking for where I can get these kinds of things in normal stores. What kind of store would carry rennet or citric acid?

Citric acid, I assume, is less of a problem, since I could find it at a health food store, maybe? (someone once told me that citric acid and vitamin c were the same... but that isn't true, is it? I thought Vitamin c was ascorbic acid. Regardless, could I use them interchangeably in a recipe... its used in the recipe to help curdle the milk and for textural reasons). Plus, a tablet of vitamin c, I'm assuming, would have other kind of binders and stuff, no?

Anyhow, the harder part of this is finding rennet. I don't really care if it is vegetable or animal. Does rennet have any other use except in dairy products? Is there a kind of store that would typically carry this?

I remember a while ago someone mentioning that an Indian store nearby sold vegetable rennet. Not sure why... maybe for some yogurt making? I'll have to check it out.

Thoughts? Ideas? Help?

  1. b
    BellaGator Aug 4, 2006 07:29 PM

    Hi,
    http://www.cheesemaking.com/ has everything you need to make cheese.

    You make mozzarella? I'm really interested in trying it out!
    Have you ever made buffalo mozzarella?

    I think the above address has liquid rennin and powdered/tablet kind.

    Can you give me some tips on mozzarella making?

    -Fernanda

    1 Reply
    1. re: BellaGator
      adamclyde Aug 4, 2006 08:30 PM

      I've bought the supplies from that cheesemaking.com before - but I'm specifically looking for non online kinds of sources. from them before. Since found cheaper online sources, but now I'm looking for the kind of stores that would stock these so I don't have to pay more in shipping than the price of the items.

      I've only made mozzarella 3-4 times. At the same site you cite, she has a demo for 30-minute mozz. It's pretty good and works pretty easily. I'll just say that I like to work (knead) the mozz a little longer so I can get a firmer texture. Homemade mozz is pretty soft - even softer than most of the fress mozz you find in good stores. So working it a little longer, than dropping it in an ice bath helps to firm it up.

      Try it out - it's great. Plus, adding in some fresh chopped basil toward the beginning-middle of the kneading makes a great treat - basil mozzarella. You can also add sun dried tomatoes or other things too. lots of possibilities.

    2. Professor Salt Aug 4, 2006 07:36 PM

      Citric acid and ascorbic acid are both available in homebrewing / wine making shops. Don't know if you can use the two interchangeably, though.

      Citric acid is sometimes used to make pickles, so a store catering to home canning gardeners might have some on hand, especially during these summer months.

      Rennet? Sorry, can't help there.

      1. dchow Aug 4, 2006 08:02 PM

        i once got citric acid at kalustyans.com, and i checked, and they also sell rennet tablets . . . no, citric acid and vitamin c are not the same. you can make gelees and coat them in a mixture of sugar and citric acid, but i wouldn't want to eat a gelee coated in sugar and vitamin c!

        1. Candy Aug 4, 2006 08:28 PM

          Fruit Fresh found in grocery stores with canning supplies is citric acid. Near the gelatin in your store look for Junket. It is rennet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Candy
            adamclyde Aug 4, 2006 08:34 PM

            Perfect! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!

            1. re: Candy
              m
              MTaylor Aug 4, 2006 09:00 PM

              Candy -

              I have also been looking for Rennet. If I look near the gelatin in a store (such as Jewel or Dominick's) I'll find it?

            2. frankiii Aug 4, 2006 09:03 PM

              My Whole Foods has Rennet

              2 Replies
              1. re: frankiii
                m
                MTaylor Aug 4, 2006 09:17 PM

                Cool - Which one???

                1. re: MTaylor
                  frankiii Aug 4, 2006 11:13 PM

                  the one in baton rouge, LA keeps it in the dairy case. i would assume that it is the same at other WFs.

              2. m
                MikeG Aug 4, 2006 09:32 PM

                Fruit-Fresh is asorbic acid, not citric. Citric is sometimes sold as sour salt - depends on the market. Eastern Europeans use it a fair amount. I don't how ascorbic would behave in this use, but they don't necessarily behave the same way chemically.

                As for the junket, be sure you get only the tablets - it's also sold flavored, instant, etc. which you obviously don't want.

                2 Replies
                1. re: MikeG
                  Candy Aug 4, 2006 10:00 PM

                  Actually Fruit Fresh contains both.

                  1. re: MikeG
                    e
                    Eldon Kreider Aug 5, 2006 08:48 PM

                    Middle Eastern markets are also good bets for citric acid.

                  2. m
                    MTaylor Aug 5, 2006 02:23 PM

                    I was able to get liquid Rennet at Whole Foods on Ashland in Chicago.

                    I used Fresh Fruit last night to make a 30 minute mozzarella (the recipe from www.cheesemaking.com ) . It took a little longer (about 15 minutes) for the curd to form, but the curd still formed.

                    1. s
                      scott123 Aug 5, 2006 02:44 PM

                      Cheesemaking is a precise art. If the recipe says citric, use citric. If a quick bread recipe utilized citric acid for leavening, I might sub the equivalent amount of ascorbic, but not in a cheese recipe.

                      1. m
                        MTaylor Aug 7, 2006 01:24 PM

                        Adam -

                        If you live in LP/ Lakeview, you can get Citric Acid at the Hydroponic and Home Brew Store on Elston and Armitage. It is kind of tucked away and I called and they do have it.

                        Also, I got Rennet at the Whole Foods on Ashland.

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