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A question about a recipe: Creamy Homemade Ricotta


I have a question about the recipe "Creamy Homemade Ricotta" from Jennifer Perillo.
Is this really ricotta? By discarding the whey (and keeping the curd) this should not, per definition, be called ricotta. Ricotta is made from precisely whey, as opposed to cheese which is made from the curd. Confused.

asked by LondonPenn about 4 years ago
2 answers 1370 views

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Technically you are correct - ricotta means "recooked" in Italian, and is made from whey left over from making other cheese. Nowadays it is pretty common to make ricotta from whole milk. The book Artisan Cheese Making at Home has recipes for both whole milk ricotta and whey ricotta, so IMO it is perfectly acceptable to refer to either type as ricotta.

Miranda Rake

Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added about 4 years ago

I think that it would be hard to say what 'real' ricotta would be - traditionally, ricotta was indeed made from the remnants of cheesemaking (usually mozzarella I think http://www.nytimes.com...) but as with so many artisinal food products the question of authenticity and origin are murky and far from black and white. Which is a round about way of saying I wouldn't worry about it, because the creamy and fresh cheese that you end up with is one glorious thing, whatever you might call it.