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Ricotta is a fresh cheese made from sheep, buffalo or cow milk whey. It is an Italian specialty with many regionally different recipes.

Ricotta is not produced directly from milk like quark but instead from whey, a leftover from the production of Mozzarella, Provolone and, above all, Pecorino. Ricotta is therefore a whey cheese. To ferment the whey it is heated to 70 to 80 degrees Celsius. The heat and the natural acids in the whey curdle the albumin. During curdling the albumin encloses milk fat, minerals and vitamins solved in the whey. The next step is to heat the curdled ricotta mass a second time. The liquid is now separated from the ricotta cheese. The fresh ricotta is now collected in baskets through which the remaining liquid can drain.


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Ricotta varieties

There are different varieties of ricotta. The difference in production is mostly only in different heat treatments. Most ricottas are sold fresh and without further processing. Some are smoked, salted, dried or baked. Ricotta is available at all fat levels. Made from sheep milk ricotta usually has between 70 and 78 percent of fat in dry matter which is more than ricotta made from cow milk has.

A special ricotta variety is Ricotta di bufala made from buffalo milk. Even in Italy, where it is produced, it is rare and counts as a delicacy among cheese lovers.

  • Ricotta di bufala (made from buffalo milk whey)
  • Ricotta di pecora (made from sheep milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta di vacca (made from cow milk whey, fresh, unsalted)
  • Ricotta di vacci (made from cow milk whey, fresh, unsalted)
  • Ricotta piemontese (made from cow milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta pecorina (made from cow milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta romana (made from cow milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta salata (made from sheep milk whey, salted)
  • Ricotta salata al forno (made from cow milk whey, baked, salted)
  • Ricotta salata affumicata (made from cow milk whey, smoked)
  • Ricotta sardina (made from sheep milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta secca (made from cow milk whey, ripened - hard grating cheese)
  • Ricotta siciliana (made from sheep milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta tipo moliterno (made from sheep milk whey, unsalted)
  • Ricotta tipo dolce (made from cow milk whey, fresh, unsalted)
  • Ricotta tipo forte (made from cow milk whey, ripened, salted)
  • Ricotta vaccina (made from sheep milk whey, unsalted)

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