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As though we need a reason to celebrate, talk about and eat cheese, but still: Happy National Cheese Lovers Day! If you're ready to level up from a cheese lover to a cheese maker, here's a recipe straight from our friends at the Heifer Farm. You can try it out by visiting the farm, or make it at home!

Similar cheese are made all around the world, such as paneer in India, queso blanco or queso campesino in Latin America, wagashi in Ghana, and quark in Eastern Europe.

Farmer's Cheese
(serves about 15)

Materials
2 Large pots                
Cheesecloth                                                                
Colander                                                                                                                    
Long-handled spoon for stirring                                            
Thermometer                                                              
Measuring spoons                                                      
Potholders

Ingredients
½ gallon whole milk
¼ cup white vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Herbs & Spices, such as garlic powder, parsley, oregano, etc.
Crackers (optional) 

Procedure:

  1. Pour milk into one large pot.
  2. Turn stove on high heat. Stir periodically and heat until milk is 185° F. (Don’t let it boil!)
  3. Remove the milk from the heat, add vinegar, and stir. The curds will separate from the whey. Add more vinegar a tablespoon at a time curds and whey don’t separate pretty quickly.
  4. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a second pot. Slowly pour the curds and whey through the cloth. Use a spoon to press on the curds to remove as much whey as possible. 
  5. Return curds to the original pot.
  6. Add salt and any spices/herbs for flavoring. 
  7. Put on a cracker and enjoy!

You can use the whey to feed pigs, water houseplants, boil pasta noodles, or make bread. There are added nutrients in the water!

It can't be denied that cheese tastes great, but we have special reasons to love cheese here at Heifer. One of the reasons we provide cows and other milk-producing animals to our project participants is because once those farmers have milk, they can make and benefit from a brand new source of nutrition and income: cheese! Watch how one of our project participants in Romania, Leontina Giorgio, makes cheese now:

Author

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

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