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.