All of my body trembles with joy. It is the first time I tasted it this year. That special taste reminds me of summer. Which delicacy am I talking about? About our precious, handmade, homemade ricotta following hundreds of years old tradition.
Since we have sheep, our ricotta is based on sheep milk, but you can also find varieties based on a mixture of sheep and cow milk in the valley. Do you know ricotta and what makes it different from usual cottage cheese? Continue reading and you will learn all about it and many other tasty curiosities.
Ricotta prides itself on excellent taste. Besides, it is very beneficial to our bodies. Why? It is made out of whey, not milk, and this is why it contains plenty of beneficial proteins, so-called albumins, and only little fat. Whey is a side product when producing cheese. It is that pale yellow liquid that some people enjoy consuming thanks to its beneficial impact. In the past, when we still had a pig, it was him the lucky chosen one who drank this healthy treasure.
What a miracle. When one would have thought that the milk is entirely used by the cheese, the cheese master manages to create ricotta as if by magic.
I absolutely love it. My favourite one is plain ricotta. We call it ‘sweet’ ricotta although there is no sugar added. In fact, we do not add anything, in comparison with its savoury counterpart to which we add salt in order to keep it for a longer time.
We traditionally eat savoury ricotta together with boiled potatoes. The dish is called čompe an skuta. Potatoes and ricotta was once considered a modest, peasant dish, but today it is awarded an important place in our gastronomy.
Ricotta’s texture is perfectly creamy, not too soft and not too hard either. It is its absolute tender, soft taste that seduces me. I eat it with fruit, yoghurt, bread, oatmeal or on its own. We can also bake a delicious strudel and add some apples and cinnamon to make a perfect twist. Another super delicious dish that you should treat yourself to when in upper Soča valley, is skutni štrukelj, a cooked roll filled with ricotta. A truly wonderful and wholesome meal.
Such a meal is full of stories, those from the past and the ones which are yet to come. Ricotta is a pure miracle and is a highly appreciated ingredient in Soča valley.
If you prefer savoury ricotta, you will enjoy its slightly more piquant taste, depending on how long ricotta has been stored in the season. Did you know that some even make soup out of the old, piquant savoury ricotta?
Every season has its specific taste, don’t you think? For me, summer tastes like ricotta and I find myself very fortunate to enjoy it.
May you find your favourite tastes too.
Have a lovely day,
P.S.: Are you wondering how come I know all of that about this really rich tradition? I am lucky that my dad is a cheese master. I see real value in tradition myself, so I passionately strive to preserve our cultural wealth.
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