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Savoring Kentucky showcases the wonders of Kentucky's food, farms, farmers, restaurants, chefs, distillers, brewers, orchards and markets. We applaud local food, its producers and champions. We delight in news of improvements in food and food systems. We take pleasure in fine food. We thank our wondrous sponsors for supporting our work and local goodness all around.

Milk into Mozzarella: We like it!

Shaping warm homemade mozzarellaThe very idea of homemade mozzarella, described in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle, drove me to find a source of fresh local milk, buy Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making and a few supplies, and start trying something brand new to me. Although I have cooked all my life, cheesemaking is not quite cooking, and not quite fermenting, and not quite anything else. It is its own enterprise. Luckily I have an intrepid cheese-making friend, who says she sometimes feels she must have two heads because of the looks of astonishment delivered when the subject of home cheese-making comes up. This amazement that anyone makes cheese at home happens even with serious cooks -- people unafraid of grinding their own wheat, for example, or making stock from scratch.

Now that is changing. Two years into my own experiments with occasional cheese-making, I am delighted to know that more people are experimenting with mozzarella, in particular, at least in Ohio. It's a bit of a challenge, finding conscientiously produced milk that is not ultrapasteurized. The ultra stuff won't behave well for home cheesemakers.

I'm ready any time for Kentucky's dairy industry to rebuild itself and for Kentucky legislators to follow the lead of ... I was going to name the number of states that support sales of tested, clean, fresh milk, but instead maybe I should wish the legislators would just listen to the song about legalizing sales of fresh, unpasteurized milk.

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