Last Updated : Jan 11,2018
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Ricotta is derived from an Italian word which means, 'recooked.' As a fresh cheese that is sourced from sheep or cow's milk in Italy, Ricotta is grainy and creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet to taste with just 5% fat. It's easy to confuse Ricotta with other cottage cheese variants. While the texture is similar, Ricotta is much lighter than most. This cheese is made using whey which is a limpid, low-fat, nutritious liquid that is a by-product of cheese production. Sometimes the Indian, 'khoa' is often mistaken for Ricotta because of the similarity in appearance.
Crumbled ricotta cheese
Pass the cheese through a shredder and separate the thin slices into shreds with fingers. Alternatively, you may buy packaged shredded cheese, if available.
Ricotta cheese cubes
Turn the block of cheese on its side and make a series of slices. Lay the cheese slices on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes). Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through the cheese and it will fall away into cubes.
Ricotta cheese strips
Cut the cheese block into thin or thick strips as per the recipe requirement.
Sliced ricotta cheese
You may place the cheese in a slicer or slice the cheese into thin or thick slices with a sharp knife, as per the recipe requirement.
How to select
• Ricotta cheese should not be too crumbly or dry but instead be soft and fresh.
• The colour of the cheese should be relatively uniform.
• There are 3 types of Ricotta are salted, baked and smoked. These particular methods of preparation ensure your Ricotta lasts longer.
• A pressed, salted and dried variety of ricotta is known as Salata. This hard, milky white cheese issold in the shape of wheels and is found at gourmet cheese stores. It is mainly used for grating or shaving over pasta.
• Please check the expiry date before purchasing the product.
• Ricotta and Mascarpone are two extremely popular northern Italian cheeses that are used extensively in creating Italian desserts like cheesecake and tiramisu.
• Ricotta is often beaten smooth and mixed with sugar, cinnamon and chocolate shavings, and served as a dessert in some parts of Italy.
• In traditional egg or tuna salads, mayonnaise is often substituted by a healthy serving of ricotta.
• This cheese also acts as a sauce thickener.
• Savoury Italian origin dishes like pasta, calzoni, pizza, manicotti, lasagne, and ravioli taste delicious and lighter with ricotta.
How to store
• All cheeses, regardless of variety, should be well wrapped and kept in the warmest section of the refrigerator (The refrigerator door is often one of the warmest spots).
• As storage life is related to the moisture content of the cheese, the softer the cheese, the shorter amount of time it will keep fresh.
• Since ricotta is a fresh cheese, it should be consumed within a day or two as it is highly perishable.
• Regardless of the type of milk used to create it, ricotta cheese is a concentrated source of the nutrients naturally found in milk, including calcium.
• Ricotta also contains a large amount of other essential nutrients such as phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.
• It is a dense source of high quality protein.
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