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Curd to make fresh mozzarella?

Just came back from a great weekend of girls cooking, wining (NOT whining!), dining and catching up...and a friend from NY brought up curd to make fresh mozzarella...and I want to give it a whirl up here in Boston...where in the Cambridge/Somerville or North End areas could I find the curd??

Thanks!

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  1. Why not just make the curd yourself too? It's really easy to do. I've started doing it myself at home and it's fun. All you need is a kit from New England Cheesemaking Company, which you can buy online.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mwk

      I agree, you're probably better off making the curd yourself. It's not terribly difficult and produces good cheese. I've made my own and it's by far one of the easiest cheeses to make.

      1. re: ctowncook

        Question on this- I read through the directions and it requires you to microwave the product at one point. Is there an alternative to microwaving it? The directions I saw didnt give one, but Im wondering if I can just put it in a hot oven? Or is the microwave essential? I have chosen to live without a microwave (sort of hate the whole concept of them) but would love to give this kit a try! TIA!

        1. re: fmcoxe6188

          The instruction manual that arrives with the kit has both stovetop and microwave instructions. Ricki found that more people made cheese if they could microwave, so she came up with this alternative.

          I use the stovetop method. You do have to toughen up your hands for pulling the hot cheese.

          1. re: smtucker

            You can also use thick rubber gloves.

            1. re: smtucker

              Perfect! Thanks so much for the info!

      2. I'll third the recommendation to make the curd yourself, it is quite easy, esp with the kit mentioned by mwk. The other key is good milk. See this thread for a discussion of various milk sources (my favorite remains Shaw Farms)
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/632636

        1. I'll fourth the recommendation for both the kit and making your own cheese. I began making cheese about a year ago, and will say that if you can buy local farm milk, your chances for success are greater. Sometimes the milk you buy at a supermarket makes great cheese; sometimes it truly doesn't. Have fun!

          7 Replies
          1. re: smtucker

            This is great!!! I am already all over the New England Cheesemaker site! Thank you so much! Does anyone know if "pasturized" and not "ULTRApasturized" milk is ok if someone is pregnant to make the cheese?

            1. re: winecafe95

              My understanding (I did a cheesemaking course with Rikki, of NE Cheesemaking) is that ultrapasteurizing has more to do with shelf stability than safety. I don't think pasteurized milk carries more risk. She did say that she does not recommend ultrapasteurized milk, and that, as smtucker says, some supermarket milk works, some doesn't, and that can change as the season changes, according to the diet of the cows. In the worst case scenario, you end up with ricotta, so it's not all bad!

              It's been a while since I've made cheese, but I do remember there was one local supermarket milk that worked better than the others... i think it was Garelick. Not positive though. Half of the fun is trying!

              1. re: winecafe95

                The ultra-pasturized [which is most of the organic milk out there] doesn't "cheese" well at all. I have had great luck with Shaw Farm, Crescent Farm and, oh dear, I can't remember the other one. Highlawn perhaps? A farm in Lee, MA. Someone else will remember, I am sure.

                1. re: smtucker

                  High Lawn milk makes fabulous mozz. You can get it at Whole Foods, and perhaps elsewhere.

                  1. re: Area Man

                    High Lawn milk is at Russo's, at much better prices than WF.

              2. re: smtucker

                You can get non-homogenized whole milk (which is a superior product but more expensive) from Shaw's Farm in Dracut.

                1. re: Karl S

                  Also at the Dairy Bar in Somerville and (some days) Chip'N Farm in Bedford. (Pick up some eggs laid just the day before while you are there!) Both places sell the non-homogenized milk at the same price as the homogenized whole milk.

              3. Actually, I had a tough time with the milk, but New England Cheesmaking suggested using a combination of 1 gallon of reconstituted non-fat dry milk, with one pint of heavy cream. I tried that and it worked like a dream. Nice thick heavy curd and no problem at all with getting it into the right consistency.

                I've also tried cutting back on the cream, for a lighter cheese. I've found that you can go as low as half a pint of heavy cream, to one gallon of milk, before you start to notice a substantial difference in the taste and texture of the curd.

                1. Monica's market at 130 Salem St. in the North End sells curd for mozzarella.