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Where can I find cheese making supplies (esp. pH strips)?

chefematician May 30, 2011 08:24 AM

I am interested in trying to make my own chevre. I know that I can find all the necessary supplies online but I was wondering if there are any stores in the Boston area that carry cheese making supplies. My only thought was Formaggio Kitchen but they're closed today and upon checking their website it does not appear that they carry what I am looking for. The things I am hoping to find include rennet, cheese culture, a muslin cloth and pH strips. If anyone has seen these items around please let me know. Thanks!

Formaggio Kitchen
244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

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    bear RE: chefematician May 30, 2011 08:54 AM

    This probably won't help you today since I'm guessing they aren't open, but might be worth checking out another time. It's in Woburn. I'm planning on going to get supplies to make mozzarella. I don't want to use the packaged mix that seems to be readily available, and this place carries what I"ll need.


    1 Reply
    1. re: bear
      chefematician RE: bear May 30, 2011 02:37 PM

      Thanks I'll check it out.

    2. Unfoodie RE: chefematician May 30, 2011 11:40 AM

      Any homebrew shop.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Unfoodie
        chefematician RE: Unfoodie May 30, 2011 02:36 PM

        Do you know any offhand?

        1. re: chefematician
          maillard RE: chefematician May 30, 2011 05:59 PM

          There's one on Mass Ave a few blocks towards Porter Sq. from Qingdao Garden.

          Qingdao Garden Restaurant
          2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

          1. re: maillard
            okra RE: maillard May 30, 2011 08:57 PM

            That'd be Modern Homebrew Emporium

            1. re: okra
              hiddenboston RE: okra May 31, 2011 07:55 AM

              Right. I saw at least one cheesemaking kit at Modern Hombrew while getting beer supplies there this spring.

              1. re: okra
                chefematician RE: okra May 31, 2011 07:56 AM


        2. opinionatedchef RE: chefematician May 30, 2011 02:20 PM

          chefemat, you might also enjoy talking to local restaurant chefs that make their own various cheeses.They often like to talk shop and share the thrill.

          5 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef
            chefematician RE: opinionatedchef May 30, 2011 02:36 PM

            I can't think of any restaurants whose chefs make their own cheeses. Do you know of any that you can share with me?

            1. re: chefematician
              Guido RE: chefematician May 30, 2011 05:51 PM

              They make fresh mozzarella every day at fiore di nonno in Somerville. You can also take a class from Rikki the cheese queen in Ashfield, western mass; it's really a good class and a nice overnight, several B&B in the area. http://www.cheesemaking.com/

              1. re: Guido
                Chris VR RE: Guido May 30, 2011 05:56 PM

                Rikki's class is great, and she is a great (semi-local) source for supplies. I have bought supplies for cheesemaking at Beer & Wine Supply in Woburn (mentioned upthread) but they are fairly limited in what they carry.

                1. re: Guido
                  Eatin in Woostah RE: Guido Jun 3, 2011 03:21 PM

                  I loved Rikki's class! If you are still having trouble finding supplies, I bet she could send what you need by mail. Che re is very easy to make though. I made some after coming back from her class, and don't recall needing to test the pH.

                2. re: chefematician
                  opinionatedchef RE: chefematician May 31, 2011 01:39 PM

                  chefmat, i feel like i have seen 'made in house' with reference to cheeses(most likely the soft ones like- mozzarella, burratta, ricotta, feta)- on a few of the scores of menus i've perused 'lately' but i can't say the names. My instinct is to suggest you contact Ana Sortun at oleana,Frank McClelland at L'Espalier, Roberta Dowling at the Camb Culinary School, (and maybe jamie bissonette at coppa). All are very smart, willing to share, and experienced in this area. And, of course, Mr. Wonderful/ King of All Things Cheese, Ihsan at Formaggio Kitchen. 3pm can be a good time to get a few phone minutes with a chef.

                  774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                  Formaggio Kitchen
                  244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                  134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
                  2020 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

              2. chefematician RE: chefematician May 31, 2011 04:47 PM

                OK I am reporting back with some progress. I went to Modern Homebrew Emporium on Mass Ave and they had everything I needed...except pH strips. Well to be exact, they did have pH strips but not in the range that I was looking for. I may just order the strips online. After that I'll just need the raw goat milk.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chefematician
                  emannths RE: chefematician May 31, 2011 05:32 PM

                  Maybe a pet (aquarium) or pool store? What pH range are you looking for?

                  1. re: emannths
                    chefematician RE: emannths May 31, 2011 05:39 PM

                    The pH strips should be accurate to the tenths place. I'd be looking for the whey to be between 4.5 and 4.7.

                  2. re: chefematician
                    opinionatedchef RE: chefematician May 31, 2011 09:53 PM

                    ph strips should be available through any pharmacy, as many people use them to check their ketones. Also, they are required by most health depts. to be kept by food businesses that have soaking sinks. There used to be (still is?) a goat farm in newbury? topsfield? that sold cheese and, likely, milk......

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