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on a mission for ricotta that tastes like ricotta in Denver

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mampara Apr 25, 2012 02:49 PM

Hello foodies,

I just returned from Bologna where I was amazed at how fantastic the fresh ricotta is there. I am now on a mission to find the closest thing in Denver. Does anyone have suggestions where I could get the next best thing here? I'm also planning on making my own, but at the moment I would also like to find a place where I can purchase almost-the-real-thing.

And a tip for anyone who decides to pay $17 to buy Parmalat online, thinking "Italian" milk will yield truer results for homemade ricotta: don't-- it's made in the US. Damn!!!

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  1. j
    jcattles RE: mampara Apr 26, 2012 08:42 AM

    You could try Tony's Market, Marcyzk's Fine Foods, or possibly Parisi.

    Making ricotta couldn't be simpler. I take 4 cups half & half, bring to 190 degrees, remove from the heat and stir in 3 tbsp vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then strain through cheesecloth, keeping the whey for another use (it's great in bread). Let it continue to drain for up to 15 min, then put in a bowl & stir in heavy cream until it's the consistency you want. You can add a little salt if you wish. Otherwise use immediately or put in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. (I never have any leftover to refrigerate) It usually yields 1-2 cups depending on the day.

    6 Replies
    1. re: jcattles
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      mampara RE: jcattles Apr 26, 2012 08:57 AM

      Thank you for the suggestions, and the recipe! They are highly appreciated, and I can't wait to try the recipe. I am still on a quest to buy Italian milk for the homemade version, but I'll give it a go with what's at hand in the meantime. Thanks!

      1. re: mampara
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        jcattles RE: mampara Apr 26, 2012 10:29 AM

        I'm not sure where you'd be able to find Italian milk, I can't imagine that customs would even let it in the country with all the restrictions on food. Good luck, I hope you find it!! I'm not trying to be rude, I'm truly curious...can I ask why you're stuck on getting Italian milk? I understand wanting the "authentic" ricotta but I don't see why you wouldn't use the best ingredients you can find locally. Milk shipped from Italy won't be nearly as fresh as what you could get from a dairy farm down the road. I'm just wondering if you were able to go to a dairy farm or a cheesemaker such as Haystack & get fresh milk from them if it would make a better ricotta than store bought milk.. I know it's hard to find a dairy that will sell unpasteurized milk these days but if you could use the same milk they use, it just might compare with the ricotta you had in Italy.

        1. re: jcattles
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          mampara RE: jcattles Apr 27, 2012 12:50 PM

          I think I'm stuck on it because fresh ricotta in Italy tastes different to me than fresh ricotta in the US; I know for a fact that the milk tastes different in Italy (and Spain for that matter) than in the US, so I assumed that accounted for the variance in taste of ricotta. (Perhaps the difference is pasteurization or the way milk is treated in this country?) It may not be the reason; I don't know the other variables. I suppose I should just look for the best local milk that I can in my cheese-making quest at present.

          Where is Haystack, please? I would love to find a place to buy fresh milk as my Italian milk quest has been a bust so far. Thanks for your thoughts!

          Ms. Mampara

          1. re: mampara
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            jcattles RE: mampara Apr 27, 2012 01:10 PM

            I'm not sure if they sell milk or make ricotta but their chevre is outstanding

            http://www.haystackgoatcheese.com/

            You can purchase a "share" of a cow or goat to get fresh milk, here's a link to various dairys in the state

            http://www.rawmilkcolorado.org/colora...

            1. re: jcattles
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              mampara RE: jcattles Apr 27, 2012 01:23 PM

              Cool, thank you for the links. I will have to make a drive and visit the farms. All my best.

      2. re: jcattles
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        chowing kat RE: jcattles Jun 20, 2012 08:41 PM

        I use fresh squeezed lemon juice for my acid. I love the taste it puts in the ricotta. And, ricotta IS the easiest thing to make!!! You can play with the milk mixture - I do half whole milk and half 1/2 and 1/2. It's plenty rich and creamy as it is. There is a wonderful local lady who makes a fantastic raspberry jalepeno jam - put on top of some ricotta and it is amazing.

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        caviar_and_chitlins RE: mampara Apr 26, 2012 06:15 PM

        I'd try The Truffle in Denver. They get great real ricotta.

        I agree with jcattles about the quest for Italian milk. Good quality milk and proper process will yield a quality result.

        Fruition Farns' sheep ricotta is the best around.

        4 Replies
        1. re: caviar_and_chitlins
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          mampara RE: caviar_and_chitlins Apr 27, 2012 12:31 PM

          Sheep ricotta? Okay, this I have to try!! What a fantastic tip. And I'll have to check out the Truffle as well. Thank you caviar and chitlins! ms. mampara

          1. re: mampara
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            caviar_and_chitlins RE: mampara Apr 27, 2012 02:30 PM

            You're welcome- the sheep's milk ricotta is deeelicious, and since it's a little fattier than cow's milk, it has that creamy and not grainy quality that industrial cow's milk (domestic) can have.

            And yes, you should indeed check out the Truffle for all your europhile needs!n

            1. re: caviar_and_chitlins
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              mampara RE: caviar_and_chitlins Apr 27, 2012 03:15 PM

              Sheep's milk cheese is my absolute favorite, so this will be quite a discovery. Any thoughts on how I can purchase from the farm you mentioned? I googled them and didn't find a customer interface, though I did locate a related restaurant (also not the right way to purchase for home consumption). Many thanks!

              1. re: mampara
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                caviar_and_chitlins RE: mampara Apr 27, 2012 05:38 PM

                They retail through the Truffle! It's a small farm/dairy, so keep that in mind regarding seasonailty and availability, but the folks at the Truffle can provide more exact info than I can.

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