Cow Milk Feta

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March 10, 2012

I’d like to say that feta is my favorite cheese, but that would be a lie.  I love cheese, all of it, so I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  But feta is one of my favorites to make at home because it is so easy.  Most folks think you have to make feta from goat or sheep’s milk, but that’s just nonsense.  Cow’s milk can be turned into a lovely feta, you just need a little something called lipase powder to pull it off.  Goat’s milk contains this enzyme naturally, giving goat cheese that lovely piquant pucker.  But you can purchase lipase in powdered from wherever you get your cheese making supplies.  When added to cow’s milk, you get a mild, but pleasantly tangy feta.  Extra fresh, local and/or organic milk will also add depth and flavor to any cheese you make.

This recipe is based on the feta found in homemade cheese guru Ricki Carroll’s book, Home Cheese Making.  I’ve altered the recipe for cow’s milk and also added a pressing step which I think makes a firmer feta, particularly from store-bought milk.  My supplies and equipment came from Carroll’s online supply and resource site New England Cheesemaking Supply, which I can not recommend highly enough.  Get on their e-newsletter list, it’s fantastic.  I bought my French calve’s rennet and my giant curd knife from Hoegger Supply Company, which carries a fantastic selection of goat raising, homesteading, dairying and cheese making supplies, including many European cultures and products.

Making cheese is not complicated but there are some techniques that you need to understand, like sterilizing tools, inoculating and ripening milk and making and cutting curds.  If you’d like to read common FAQs and see a great step by step walkthrough of all the basics, check out the cheesemaking.com beginning cheese making page.  Better and more experienced people than I have made the process very simple.

Update!  Thanks so much to New England Cheesemaking Supply for featuring my post in their Cheesemaking blog!  

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A chronicle of my adventures growing, preserving, cooking and eating from my garden and everywhere.

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