Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do It Yourself Dairy

We (like most Americans) love dairy products; however the Chinese people do not often share this love and some even disdain our beloved cows' milk and milk products. We were told by one Chinese high school girl that we should really just get soy milk because, "The taste of cows milk is very miserable." Well I kind of think their soy milk is rather miserable myself. But anyway this is one food arena that the availability and quality of certain products we love has fluctuated wildly over the course our married lives. So I did a lot of research and came up with several wonderful dairy products right in my kitchen. I'd like to try more complex cheese making sometime in the future, but milk prices are high here and we don't have room in our backyard for a cow, so it is cheaper to buy hard cheese than to make it.

It is quite easy to make many dairy products yourself with little else than a some scientific knowledge and a few basic pieces of kitchen equipment. However, most of these dairy products are produced using bacteria cultured at a specific temperature or using heat and acid reactions so a good food thermometer is very important if not necessary to their production. Described is not so much as recipe for each product as a process. None of these products are particularly difficult to make, but it may a few tries to develop a system that works best for you. However, once you find out how to make a certain item exactly how you like it, you may have a hard time settling for the commercial version again.

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