Ricotta facts for kids
|Country of origin||Italy|
|Source of milk||Sheep, cows, goats, or Italian water buffalo|
|Texture||Dependent on variety, fresh soft to aged semisoft|
|Aging time||None or up to a year for aged varieties|
|Named after||Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 70: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|
Ricotta is an Italian fresh whey cheese made from the whey of sheep's milk or cow's milk. Whey is a watery liquid that separates from curds when cheese is made. Ricotta is soft, grainy and white. It can be used in Italian desserts like cheesecake or cannoli. It contains protein and is a dairy product.
Common culinary uses
Like mascarpone in northern Italian cuisine, ricotta is a favorite component of many Italian desserts, such as cheesecakes and cannoli. Also, a variety of different cookies include ricotta as an ingredient.
Ricotta can be beaten smooth and mixed with condiments, such as sugar, cinnamon, orange flower water, strawberries, and occasionally chocolate shavings, and served as a dessert. This basic combination (often with additions such as citrus and pistachios) also features prominently as the filling of the Sicilian cannoli and layered with slices of cake in Palermo's cassata.
Combined with eggs and cooked grains, then baked firm, ricotta is also a main ingredient in Neapolitan pastiera, one of Italy's many "Easter pies".
It also is used as a mayonnaise substitute in traditional egg or tuna salad and as a sauce thickener.
Local ricotta is dried in the sun and made into a hard, chewy tablet called chhurpi in Himalayan areas, notably in Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and parts of Nepal. The fresh, soft chhurpi is the main ingredient in the Bhutanese national dish of ema datshi.
It is often used as a substitute for paneer or chena (though the two are not identical) in the Indian dessert known as ras malai. However, paneer is mostly casein protein, similar to cottage cheese, while ricotta is made of all whey protein.
Images for kids
Ricotta Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.