Fresh ricotta is a taste sensation. Salted, baked or topped with olives, ricotta is sold in many different ways.
How is it made?
A morning with Giulio, the shepherd, making cheese and ricotta, and our questions are answered.
We clamber down the cow track towards a tiny open shed and are welcomed by Giuseppe, Giulio’s friend, who likes to spend time hiding in the hills.

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He has helped bring in the goats early that morning for milking.
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They love climbing the old gnarled olive tree

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Giulio arrives with wood for the fire

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The cheese is made in this open shed.

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Giulio is very particular that all the utensils he uses are washed in boiling water prior to being used, so a large pot of water is put over the fire to boil.
We are shown a cheese made yesterday, called a tuma in an old wicker basket. Today, wicker baskets are hard to find so plastic baskets are often used. These are not perfect as they can cut the cheese.

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The goats milk is put into a large plastic container and left to set.
The perfect time to start making the cheese is when the fig wood stick stands upright and the whey is transparent.

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The cheese is then taken and put into the basket

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It is pressed to extract all of the whey

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The finished tuma

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The transparent whey from the cheese is then used to make ricotta. This can only happen if the whey has not previously been heated. It is put into a large pot and put over the fire. Extra goat’s milk, salt and hot water are added.

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Slowly the ricotta solidifies and rises to the top

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Impurities are skimmed from the top and the ricotta is put into containers

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We taste the ricotta, straight from the pot.

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Our cheeses

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You can’t beat the taste of freshly made warm ricotta.