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Old-fashioned ricotta is made by taking the whey curds left over from cheese production, adding an acid to them, then heating them until whatever proteins are leftover coagulate. The curds are then strained, drained, and sold. The word ricotta means "twice cooked," in reference to this process. A lot of what you find in the store is made from whey, a by-product of cheese making.
Narragansett Creamery takes a different approach by adding vinegar directly to whole milk in order to produce the curd. The curds are then transferred into small tin containers that are pierced with holes to allow whey to drain from the cheese. The cheese is left to drain for one day before being sold. The resulting ricotta is lightly salted, moist, sweet and delicate on the tongue. The texture is slightly fluffy.
The majority of ricotta you find at the supermarket is made with stabilizers that give them their creamy texture. In truth, these stabilizers are chemicals that take the place of milk proteins and fat – a way for manufacturers to cut cost and extend the shelf life of their products. On top of that, the milk often comes from factory farms, where dairy cows are mistreated and given growth hormones to increase milk production, which ultimately requires higher levels of antibiotics.
Narragansett Creamery hand-makes the freshest premium cheeses using local milk, kind bacteria, vegetable-based rennet, salt and nothing else. They support fair-trade and local ingredients to the best of their ability and their farmers pledge to not use growth hormones.
Local Roots meat is handled with care and you can taste it. There are no preservatives, nitrates or funky chemicals. It's super fresh.
Jenn de la Vega.
Chef & Cookbook author