Whey Cool

Culture your own curds with this easy home recipe

If the apocalypse should come, Brooklyn could sustain itself deliciously: The borough already produces chocolate, beer, pickles--even wine. And if ricotta producer Salvatore Bklyn supplies the cheese, life might almost feel civilized.

When Salvatore owners Betsy Devine and Rachel Mark returned from a trip to Italy in 2005, they wanted to re-create the country's fluffy ricotta curds, so they set up shop in Boerum Hill and began perfecting the process.

They seem to have succeeded: Cheesemonger Anne Saxelby--who sells the cheese at the Essex Street Market--has dubbed the duo's fromage as the "crack of ricotta cheese," which it pretty much is.

Though ricotta is traditionally made with whey--the liquid left from cheese production--Salvatore insists on starting with local, whole milk from Hudson Valley Fresh to create fresh curds. It's springy and bright like most ricottas, but an extended draining time also renders it super-dense and creamy, making it ideal for spreading on toasted bread, stirring into pastas, or eating with honey and blueberries.

Salvatore comes in two addictive forms--regular and smoked--but you can make your own with just three ingredients, thanks to the recipe Devine has adapted for home cooks.

Click here for the recipe (pdf).

Recipes Cheese

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere