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Curd to make fresh mozzarella?

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winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 08:51 AM

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. m
    mwk RE: winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 11:11 AM

    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
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      ctowncook RE: mwk Jul 13, 2009 12:28 PM

      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
        fmcoxe6188 RE: ctowncook Jul 15, 2009 07:42 AM

        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
          s
          smtucker RE: fmcoxe6188 Jul 15, 2009 08:43 AM

          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
            Chris VR RE: smtucker Jul 15, 2009 02:32 PM

            You can also use thick rubber gloves.

            1. re: smtucker
              fmcoxe6188 RE: smtucker Jul 16, 2009 05:49 AM

              Perfect! Thanks so much for the info!

      2. heathermb RE: winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 01:22 PM

        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. s
          smtucker RE: winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 04:35 PM

          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
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            winecafe95 RE: smtucker Jul 13, 2009 05:02 PM

            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
              Chris VR RE: winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 06:27 PM

              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
                s
                smtucker RE: winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 08:01 PM

                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
                  a
                  Area Man RE: smtucker Jul 15, 2009 01:44 PM

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

                  1. re: Area Man
                    PinchOfSalt RE: Area Man Jul 16, 2009 05:06 PM

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

              2. re: smtucker
                Karl S RE: smtucker Jul 13, 2009 06:30 PM

                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
                  PinchOfSalt RE: Karl S Jul 13, 2009 08:28 PM

                  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. m
                mwk RE: winecafe95 Jul 15, 2009 07:31 AM

                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. w
                  Womack RE: winecafe95 Jul 21, 2009 02:17 PM

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

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