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Mozzarella Makings Part 1

I love mozzarella cheese.  Really.

This meal was especially nice, by the way.  Super nice.  There’s a small, cute restaurant in downtown Budapest that has really nice Italian food.  It’s called Oliva.  I had been there once before and, since it was only 1 block from our hotel, went there again with my Mom, when she was here visiting at the end of December.  I ordered the mozzarella skewers with fresh pesto as an appetizer.  The pesto was wonderful, as was the mozzarella.

My curiosity was ignited as I was there that night.  Mozzarella.  Why can’t I make it myself?  Why do I have to wait to go to Oliva in order to enjoy mozzarella?  Why? WHY? WHY?

So it began…

Recipe for mozzarella.  I haven’t done a ton of research, I’ll be honest.  I picked one of the first recipes a google search turned up.  It was easy to read and the step by step was simple.  Sometimes, I feel, food bloggers take pictures of the stupidest steps in making a recipe.  It drives me insane that I have to scroll down the page of step-by-step photos for 3.2 hours just to get to the actual recipe.  Way too much photo detail, in my opinion.  If you click on the link below you’ll see that these photos and instructions were much more my style.

http://www.chow.com/food-news/54705/make-your-own-mozzarella/

Now, onto the ingredients.  Rennet.  Where do I get rennet in Marghita?

After scouring Romanian blogs, trying to find out where to buy rennet, I now have rennet and I finally have almost all of the ingredients I need to try my hand at making mozzarella.  (Note, if you’re in Romania and want to buy rennet it’s called “cheagul” and you can buy it at the Veterinarian Pharmacy.)  Actually, I’ve asked a friend of mine to help out with this experiment as well.  Normally we’re trying to out-do each other in the kitchen but I’ve called a truce for the mozzarella making.  He’s currently working on making wild yeast out of fermenting raisins.  Huh?  He showed me the jar yesterday.  It left me just as curious as freaked out.

Back to the recipe link above.  You have the choice of making mozzarella from pre-bought curds or from scratch.  Since raw milk is a highlight of our weekly, Friday, outdoor market I decided to go with scratch.

Let’s check out the ingredients I’ve gathered thus far!

 

 

What are you looking at above?  2 Liters of fresh cow’s milk, bought this morning at the market.  It cost 5 RON.  On the right, leaning up so nicely against Caleb’s lego garage creation of the morning, is a packet of powdered rennet, also cost 5 RON.  The guy who sold it to me said that “the amount of a tip of a knife is good for 10 litres of milk.”  The thing is, I only have 2 liters.  The tip of a knife is SO SMALL.  How can I divide that to get the proper amount for just 2 liters of milk?  I think it’ll be a bit tricky.  I’ve also found this recipe : http://cheeseforum.org/Recipes/Recipe_Mozzarella.htm which, seems, quite complicated.  Although, it fills in some of the blanks that the almost, too good to be true, simple recipe doesn’t answer.

Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted.  Mozzarella Makings Part 2 coming up tomorrow!

 

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