Monday, August 22, 2011

Stuff I learned today


Often I eat stuff but I'm not sure what it is (how it's made) ... even though they are common things.

1 - COTTAGE CHEESE -- WHAT THE HELL IS IT?
Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is drained, but not pressed, so some whey remains and the individual curds remain loose. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity, giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from milks with different fat levels and in small curd or large curd preparations. Cottage cheese which is pressed becomes hoop cheese, farmer cheese, pot cheese or queso blanco.

The two major types of cottage cheese are small curd, high-acid cheese made without rennet, and large curd, low-acid cheese made with rennet. Rennet is a natural complex of enzymes that speeds curdling and keeps the curd that forms from breaking up; adding it shortens the cheesemaking process, resulting in a lower acid and larger curd cheese, and reduces the amount of curd poured off with leftover liquid (the whey).

So, it's actually cheese ... AND NOW "eating her curds and whey" makes sense - sweet.

2 - BUTTERMILK -- WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates (e.g., Middle East, Pakistan, India, or the Southern United States) where fresh milk would otherwise sour quickly.[1] It is also popular in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, despite the colder climates.

Buttermilk may also refer to a fermented dairy product produced from cow's milk with a characteristically sour taste caused by lactic acid bacteria. This variant is made in one of two ways:cultured buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid bacteria (Streptococcus lactis) to milk; Bulgarian buttermilk is created with a different strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which creates more tartness.

So, interesting, you take cream and churn the butter out -- the liquid left behind is buttermilk. Erm, I DO NOT drink buttermilk.  Now I'm wondering ... what is it about "churning" cream makes butter come out of it ... and further ... who figured it out ... and what were they doing when they figured it out ... why ... WHY??

By the way, if you want to see how butter is churned out of cream and what it looks like at the various stages etc you can click here ... scroll down a little bit for the pics.

3 - PIMENTO CHEESE -- WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

Pimento cheese is a common food in the Southern United States. The basic recipe has few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos (also spelled "pimientos"), salt and pepper, blended to either a smooth or chunky paste.[1] There are a multitude of regional ingredients, which include but are not limited to: cream cheese, Velveeta cheese, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeƱos, onions, garlic, and dill pickles

So, it's also actually cheese.  It seems to be made a lot the same as cottage cheese only drier. I love pimento cheese.  I just bought some jalapeno pimento cheese.  I recommend it.

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