Monday, May 12, 2008

My Urban Dairy Farm

I'm on a dairy product kick. Hubby started it with the yogurt and cheese extravaganza. Now I'm working on homemade jocoque and crème fraîche.

I have a recipe for jocoque from my step-mother that I want to try. The tricky part is getting the first batch started.

Everywhere I look, people recommend that I start with a bit of already made jocoque... which is great, except that I don't have any.

I asked my step-mother for an alternative and was instructed to get cuajo.

If your response is anything along the lines of "pardon?" then you and I are on the same page. A cyber-hunt yields the definition for cuajo: curd or rennet.

[Wordie parenthesis--Rennet: c.1400, probably from an unrecorded O.E. *rynet, related to gerennan "cause to run together," because it makes milk run or curdle; from P.Gmc. *rannijanan, causative of *renwanan "to run" (see run). Cf. Ger. rinnen "to run," gerinnen "to curdle.]

I'm sure all the culinary geniuses out there immediately recognized "rennet" as a magical jocoque, yogurt, and cheese making substance. I nonetheless was still left at "Pardon?"

In Mexico, rennet is easily found at markets and pharmacies. In the U.S. where I currently reside, however, it's a specialty item to be mail ordered. But, I don't know, I just can't get on board with having enzymes shipped to me.

So plan B.

As it turns out, a bit 'o fresh cheese and milk do the trick just fine. I'm off to the store and in a day or two, I'll have results.

If it doesn't suck, I'll share the recipe.
(If it does, I'll spare you.)


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