I grew up with farm fresh homemade ricotta thanks to my grandmother and I vividly remember seeing tasty logs of it refrigerating; I was like a kid in a candy store, sneaking a taste whenever I got the chance…it was that good!
During cheese making, soft white curds rise to the top, separating, leaving the whey, a watery liquid underneath - dumped out by some cooks! However, there are a variety of uses for whey.
Traditionally, ricotta, meaning twice cooked, is made by reheating the whey by-product from certain hard cheeses. But, a ricotta-like cheese can be made by extracting curds from milk, now days, a popular method used by home cooks.
This posting is about the left over whey by-product from your favorite homemade ricotta in which the curds have been extracted from milk. Ricotta whey extracted from milk is watery, yet at the same time milky with a pleasant taste and aroma, kind of like skim milk, so I don’t discard it; I infuse it with flavors to make béchamel sauce, soups or use in breads; if not used in a couple days I freeze it (pictured) for a later use.