By Steve Nubie
Image source: Pixabay.com
We don’t know who made the first cheese, but they managed to find some interesting ingredients along the way. One is rennet and the other is citric acid. You can assume that lemon juice is citric acid, but it doesn’t deliver the same outcome as powdered citric acid (although our ancient ancestors probably used good, old lemon juice). Citric acid for cheese making usually comes as a powder or in tablet form.
Rennet is an enzyme found in the stomachs of baby claves, goats and sheep that cause milk to curdle. This enzyme is what the immature animals use to digest their mother’s milk. This is probably how cheese was first discovered, considering that a sheep, calf or goat stomach was often used by ancient people as a container for liquids. All it took was someone to put some milk in this stomach container and have the courage to taste it after it curdled.
There are also vegetable-based rennets made from figs, thistles, safflower and dried caper leaves. And to no one’s surprise, we now have genetically modified rennets in addition to microbial rennets made from a form of mold. Don’t sweat the mold part. It’s what makes blue cheese, well, blue. The rennet you use is up to you and it often comes as a liquid in a small bottle.
Salt is also a common addition to many cheeses and offers preservative properties.
You can find rennets and citric acid powder on the Internet or at some specialty food stores. Don’t be surprised if you can’t find them at your everyday grocery store.
As to salt, sea salt or Kosher salt is usually the salt of choice.
The other key ingredient for any cheese is milk. Whole milk is usually the milk of choice, and Click to see the original article