Food - Drink
The Ancient Cheese Japan Resurrected During The COVID Pandemic
The months spent trapped indoors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic brought many people closer to their kitchens than ever before thanks to all the home cooking. Across the Pacific Ocean, the people of Japan were also stuck at home, which led to a resurgence of an ancient Japanese cheese recipe.
Japanese dairy farmers faced a crisis when schools closed, as school lunch programs were one of the primary buyers of dairy. The Japanese populace rose to the challenge of buying up the new surplus of milk, but were left with the question of what to do with it, when a recipe began circulating on Japanese social media for a type of cheese called “so.”
According to Gastro Obscura, so — pronounced with a short o sound, as in “hot” — originated during Japan's Nara and Heian periods. The technique for making so only requires cooking milk down to a tenth of its original volume, producing something similar to paneer, and while it doesn’t have much flavor, so pairs well with salty accompaniments like crackers.