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In search of great ricotta

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I have a confession - I love great ricotta. I know that's a good thing... the bad thing is that since moving to Boston a year ago, I've usually just bought the industrial ricotta at places like TJ's and Costco. Wait, hear me out! I'm not a bad person!

Now I want to go back to a similar experience like I had in Sicily, where some of my best al fresca meals were with fresh ricotta from the market, tomatoes, good bread and olives... and perhaps a few other tasty bites.

Where in Boston can I find really good ricotta, but without dropping an arm and a leg to buy it (I'd guess that Formaggio might fit into the would be nice but not sure if I can really afford it category)?

Soon, I want to try making my own... but for now, how about it, hounds?

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  1. The Wellesley Cheese Shop has "hand dipped" ricotta. Not sure of the price but you can call them. They are also listed under Wasik's Cheese Shop.(in Wellesley ).

    1. I think Purity Cheese on Endicott in the North End carries it.

      1. JJ Pace in the North End and Saugus.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kate used to be 50

          Agreed- I made a baked ziti a few weeks ago with Pace's Ricotta and Mozzerella and was told it's the best I've ever made. I think the brand is Supreme? Not sure though.

          This was the stuff off the shelf. They do also have REALLY great mozzerella behind the cheese counter - not sure about ricotta.

          1. re: Chris VR

            JJ Pace makes its own Ricotta, but it is the stuff behind the cheese counter.

            Made a lasagne with the Ricotta and it was excellent!

        2. Purity is made in Quincy and is almost half the price of Formaggio and its used by a number of italian caffes. I usually buy it from Sessa's in Davis Sq which I brings some dairy products up from NYC (others from RI, CT sometimes) so not certain where they get their ricotta but superior to Bob's. Its significantly drier than the tub-varieties so keep this in mind (in some recipes I add cream or milk). Russo's is probably another good option. You didn't mention where you live.

          1 Reply
          1. re: itaunas

            And it's only like $3.50/pound at Sessa's. We just had a wonderful lasagna made with it tonight. Fresh makes a world of difference compared to that industrial stuff.

          2. Sometimes Salamaria Italiana on Richmond Street in the North End has Ricotta di Bufala. YUM! It is pricy compare to cow's milk but nice as an occasional treat.

            They don't always have it so I would call before going unless you are in the North End for another reason.

            http://www.salumeriaitaliana.com/

            1. I know Whole Foods stores carry "fresh" ricotta but I've not tried it any I'm not sure where they get it. Given the quality of their cheeses in general I'm sure it's delicious - but likely quite expensive in terms of $$/lb. Has anyone had it? I've been tempted...

              1 Reply
              1. re: heathermb

                I believe the brand at WF is Calabrese, maybe? Something that starts with a CA, anyway. They buy 2 lb. containers and repackage; it's really good. I sometimes just toss it with lobster ravioli...I bewlieve it's made locally, becasue I met the woman who does it at a New England Cheese Expo..

              2. I like the Purity brand ricotta, as sold in Russo's.

                1. i use whole foods; i believe it is sent up from new jersey. lovely product. what a huge difference!

                  1. Russos in Watertown has a homemade ricotta (also fresh mozzarella). Very thich, rich and creamy. Not cheap, but if you want the best you have to pay for it. It's in their dairy
                    section , not with their imported cheeses. And I agree, my favorite meals have been: good bread, good cheese, good wine, roasted peppers,good olives, good tomatoes and fresh veggies. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........

                    1. I sure should have checked this section earlier... post and then forget.

                      Great tips and ideas... I'll have to try out JJ Pace, Purity and perhaps the Whole Foods brand in descending order of preference... I live near Central Square and am sans car, so places further away are pretty much out of the question.

                      Thanks, Chowers!

                      1. I also vote for Russo's - although I thought it was very reasonably priced - for what it is...