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Identify this cheese!

frenetica Nov 20, 2006 08:44 PM

I was picking at some leftovers from a very expensive caterer's spread today and there was this fabulous cheese that I'd never tried before, sandwiched with prosciutto slices in little white baguettes.

Help me identify this cheese! It was a clean white colour; rindless; had a similar texture to mozzarella but was definitely less dense; and had the unmistakable tang of a goat's cheese.

Name that cheese.

  1. m
    marlie202 Dec 7, 2006 09:57 PM

    My guess is ricotta salata

    1. h
      HenryT Dec 4, 2006 02:27 PM

      There's a local sheep cheese guy who makes one he calls "Snow Road" that matches. See http://www.artisancheese.ca/ and scroll down.

      Not that I think that was what you had.

      1. toodie jane Nov 22, 2006 04:07 AM

        could it be Casera Mexican cheese? It is clean white, not off white like mozzarella, and has a bit of a squeaky texture, not too salty....mild flavor like ricotta, but with a smooth texture. It slices fairly well, and has a medium soft texture.

        1. amandine Nov 21, 2006 11:30 PM

          burrata? it's similar to mozarrella, though much softer, and is often paired with proscuitto.

          2 Replies
          1. re: amandine
            frenetica Nov 22, 2006 01:40 PM

            Oh, I just looked this up and saw a very evocative photo of the cheese being pulled apart, and it looks just like the cheese I ate. I was beginning to have my doubts about the ricotta salata when I read about it being "crumbled" over things - this cheese definitely doesn't crumble. Will have to go buy myself some burrata - thanks Amandine.

            1. re: frenetica
              amandine Nov 23, 2006 07:03 PM

              you're welcome. I had my first taste at my favorite restaurant in L.A.... it was an appetizer with 2 thick slices of toasted rustic bread, several slices of proscuitto, microgreens, and the heavenly burrata, and you put it together yourself. I haven't had burrata since then, but you can be sure it's been on my mind! By all means let me know if it really was burrata you had!

          2. Cheese Boy Nov 21, 2006 07:11 AM

            Maybe, just maybe, imported ricotta salata made with part goat milk. If this cheese is sliced thinly and left at room temperature, it will take on the consistency of a mozzarella, slightly. http://www.swarthmore.coop/media/imag...

            8 Replies
            1. re: Cheese Boy
              frenetica Nov 21, 2006 02:15 PM

              I've done a bit more research - ricotta salata is sheep's milk, right? I think this is it. Well done! Thanks all for gallant contributions.

              1. re: frenetica
                Robert Lauriston Nov 21, 2006 04:41 PM

                Ricotta salata's most often made from cow's milk, sometimes sheep or goat.

                Manouri's basically the same type of cheese and it's made from sheep's milk.

                1. re: frenetica
                  Cheese Boy Nov 21, 2006 04:54 PM

                  Yes, it's sheep's milk. Before buying *any* ricotta salata, be sure to ask for a taste. There are many very over-salted ones out there. This cheese does have a 'tang' to it when properly aged [even with sheep's milk]. http://www.murrayscheese.com/product_...

                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    Jimbosox04 Nov 21, 2006 05:00 PM

                    Spongy and smooth, Ricotta Salata is a rindless cheese made from lightly salted sheep's milk curd that is pressed and dried, then aged for at least three months. Supple in texture and mild in taste, Ricotta Salata is (despite its name) not at all overly salty or "sheepy." Instead, it boasts a mellow blend of nutty, milky and sweet flavors, which along with consistency afford the cheese an impressive versatility in the kitchen.

                    1. re: Jimbosox04
                      Cheese Boy Nov 21, 2006 05:11 PM

                      Ricotta Salata, as its name implies is *salty*. Salted ricotta, loosely translated. Depending on the region of origin, this cheese CAN BE, and many times IS, over-salted for most palettes. It's been my experience *many* times. Take my word for it. Always ask for a taste before buying. It avoids disappointments later.

                      1. re: Cheese Boy
                        Jimbosox04 Nov 21, 2006 05:34 PM

                        I am not saying that it ISN'T or CAN'T BE salty. Just stating that the saltiness that is implied with its name is usually mild and named as so due to its aging process. A good Salata should come from the Sicilian region of Italy and IS but not ALWAYS lightly salted. Cheese Boy -- Your title still reigns -- CHEERS !!

                        1. re: Jimbosox04
                          Cheese Boy Nov 21, 2006 06:21 PM

                          Thank you Jim, Cheers!

                  2. re: frenetica
                    Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2006 06:57 PM

                    I find that sheep's milk cheeses are "fluffier" than comparable cow's or goat milk cheeses. Something about the different milk proteins gives them a distinctive texture. I would keep manouri in mind as a possibility -- it's a very delicious cheese, one of my favorites.

                2. s
                  smudgy Nov 21, 2006 02:34 AM

                  I would guess manouri. It is made from sheep or goat. It does not have a rind. Like mozzarella, it has a milkly consistency and is not very salty.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: smudgy
                    Robert Lauriston Nov 21, 2006 02:48 AM

                    Except manouri's denser than mozzarella.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      smudgy Nov 21, 2006 03:11 AM

                      this is totally subjective and speculative... but sliced thin and since manouri can taste less fatty, it might seem lighter

                  2. makemestupid Nov 21, 2006 02:27 AM

                    i agree with babette feasts. . .probably a mozarella di bufala.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: makemestupid
                      frenetica Nov 21, 2006 04:59 PM

                      Guys - I know what buffalo mozzarella tastes like and would not be posting a mystery cheese challenge if confronted with it! Give me some credit...

                    2. h
                      Humbucker Nov 21, 2006 01:58 AM

                      It could be provolone (the Italian kind, not the stuff you get at sub shops). It is sort of mozzarella-ish in texture and the taste is a little bit like a goat cheese even though it isn't one.

                      1. babette feasts Nov 21, 2006 01:55 AM

                        Maybe buffalo mozzarella?

                        1. j
                          jerry i h Nov 21, 2006 12:40 AM

                          This summer, we made several trips to Marin county, California. I did have several softer, Brie type cheeses made from goat's milk, and boy was it good. I am under the impression that goat milk can also be made into a firmer, slicing and melting cheese. I am trying to remember, but am not sure if we had one of those firmer cheeses, and I surly do not know their names.

                          However, there are several places that specialize in goat cheese: Cowgirl Creamery, Rouge et Noir, and Laura Chenel. Contact these places first. If you still cannot figure it out, give a call to The Cheese Board in Berkeley; the staff there are the most knowledgeable when it comes to cheese.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jerry i h
                            Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2006 06:51 PM

                            Just a note: Rouge et Noir does not specialize in goat cheese. I don't think they even make a goat cheese.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              Robert Lauriston Nov 21, 2006 08:40 PM

                              Marin French Cheese (Rouge et Noir) does not make goat cheese. They make three cow's-milk cheeses: schloss, "breakfast cheese," and one packaged as both "Brie" and "Camembert." The latter is also sold in several flavored (pesto, jalapeno, etc.) variations.

                            2. re: jerry i h
                              melly Nov 24, 2006 02:55 AM

                              Point Reyes makes great goat cheese....or is it blue cheese..or both?

                            3. welle Nov 20, 2006 09:48 PM

                              There are goat mozzarella cheeses out there or could be a blend (cow-goat).

                              1. s
                                Sebby Nov 20, 2006 09:23 PM

                                Hmm, there is a goat cheddar cheese. Can you call the caterer and ask?

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