Thomas J. Story
These supplies may seem a bit mad-scientist, but they’re easy to use. Find them―unless otherwise noted―at The Beverage People (800/544-1867).
One very important note: Be scrupulously clean when making cheese―scrub surfaces with antibacterial soap and boil utensils (ladle, spoons, etc.) for 20 minutes before using. You don’t want bad bacteria messing with the good.
Calcium chloride: A type of salt that helps firm up the curds.
Cheesecloth: A loosely woven cloth for lining cheese molds or colanders. Find at most grocery stores.
Ricotta mold: A small woven basket made of food-grade plastic; gives your ricotta a pretty shape.
Fromage blanc culture: Gives cheese both flavor and texture; looks a lot like freeze-dried yeast used for baking.
Dairy thermometer: Unlike a candy thermometer, measures low temperatures too. You can substitute an instant-read thermometer.
Vegetarian rennet: A lab-created version of the natural enzymes that coagulate milk.
More recipes: How to cook with your fresh cheeses