Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cheese-Making Disaster

I've been successfully making farmer's cheese for more than three years. The recipe blogged here is tried and true, and, until this weekend, I had only one cheese-making disaster.*

Then I tried a recipe for farmer's cheese from Anya von Bremzen's Russian cookbook Please to the Table. It's good to try something new and different, right? Plus, I love this cookbook and often use it for inspiration (if not for the recipes).

So I followed Anya's instructions, mixing milk with sour cream (my recipe uses milk and buttermilk). I waited 48 hours until this mixture formed curds and whey (my recipe takes 24 hours). I did the required straining and draining. I dumped the cheese, which looked pretty good, into a bowl. Then I tried it...and spit it out.

I can't remember a time when I made something so awful that I couldn't even taste it. I'm a competent-enough cook that this doesn't happen. Until now. Why was Anya's farmer's cheese so bitter? What went wrong here? Food chemists, help me out.

*I once used buttermilk containing sodium citrate to make farmer's cheese, and ended up with a bitter, milky pancake instead of mild, fluffy cheese curds.


adele said...

Hmm. What kind of sour cream were you using? Maybe it had some sort of stabilizing agent that reacted poorly?

I'm sorry it didn't work out.

shushka said...

oh, this is so disappointing! I love Please to the Table! This post is a little bit of a coincidence for me because I found your recipe for tvarog this weekend and it's on my list of things to make.

raiuchka said...

I didn't have luck with the tvorog recipe in _Please to the Table_ either. I think it tastes icky because the milk sours in the time it takes the curds to separate. Whereas the recipe you've blogged before (which I used to great success, thank you so much) gets it over with pretty quickly. That's my guess. But, like you, I love _Please to the Table_ and I have had luck with other recipes.

Yulinka said...

Adele--I use Breakstone's, my favorite brand.

Shuskha-Let me know how it turns out! I love Please to the Table too, but some recipes don't always work.

Raiuchka--I guess it's good to know that it wasn't just me who had trouble with Anya's recipe. Her recipes sometimes benefit from tweaking.

Mishka said...

So you wasted so much produce? Shame on you Yuleno4ek 

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