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fresh-cheeses-msg – 4/28/13


Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, cream cheese and cottage cheese. Non-aged cheeses.


NOTE: See also the files: whey-cheeses-msg, cheese-msg, dairy-prod-msg, cheesemaking-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheesemaking-msg, cheese-goo-msg, butter-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (kellogg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period soft cheeses (was: Re: Is cheesecake period?)

Date: 22 Oct 1996 17:12:26 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University Computing Services


Monica Cellio (mjc at telerama.lm.com) wrote:

(attribution lost) wrote:


: >Is cheesecake period? If so, when and where?


: Cheese pies of various sorts are period, but not as sweets.  The closest

: thing I know of to dessert-grade cheese pies is from Digby (1669).  The

: closest approximation for the cheese is probably ricotta or farmer's cheese.

: Cream cheese is modern.


       This thread aroused my curiousity, so I did some fairly extensive

web searches.  Cream cheese does seem to be an American original.


       Most cheese websites claim a great antiquity for cottage cheese,

unfortunately without any references.  The one soft cheese that I seem to

have found a solid period reference to is ricotta.

The Sugarplums...All About Cheese site at <URL: http://www.sugarplums.com/

fieryfeature/c.html> shows a print of a painting entitled "The Ricotta

Eaters" by one Vincenzo Campi, who is listed as having lived between

1525 and 1591.


       Anyone know anything else about this painting or artist?


               Avenel Kellough



Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997 16:57:29 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - white drinks and other foods


> I saw somewhere on the web that cream cheese was close to a period

> cheese.  Then I read that it was not in any way period. (It was a while

> ago, but I thought it was on this list?) Is it indeed period? Perioid?


> Angelique


"Philadelphia style" cream cheese, as manufactured today, couldn't

possibly be period for Western Europe, what with the Philadelphia

appelation and the emulsifying gums used to keep the butterfat from

leaking out at room temperature. On the other hand, it may resemble

cheeses made from cream in period. Certainly there are references to

"cream cheese" in, or very shortly after, period, but they mean just

that. Cheese made with cream, and sometimes not only cream. Digby's

Slipcote cheese is a good example of such a cheese, which, BTW, makes a

smashing cheese for Savoury Toasted Cheese. Trouble is, that unless you

go to England and can find someone who still makes York cheese, you have

to make it yourself.


Philly cream cheese really appears to be little more than "dairy sour"

cream, a.k.a. sour cream or smetana, drained in a cloth, though. Of

course, you'd need to determine the secret blend of eleven preservatives

and chemicals in order to duplicate it exactly. My reason for mentioning

all this is that it's likely that if one wanted to find a period cheese

made from sour cream, the place to look would probably be Eastern Europe

and Russia.


It could also be that there is no non-factory made original. It may

simply be a modern invention. For example, when trying to find Limburger

cheese in its original form, as a wheel or block of cheese, with an

edible rind of mold, which I sort of assumed because it tastes so much

like Liederkranz, I discovered that for more than a century, Limburger

has been made in the USA, by blending a mixture of different cheeses

with cream. In other words, it's not that the original form is

unavailable. It's that the stuff you can buy in the supermarket, in

jars, IS the orginal form, more or less. The name, Limburger, is a

German spelling of a place in Belgium, but the cheese appears to be



IIRC, there is a recipe for cream cheese in Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt

Book, which involves letting cream sour overnight, and then pouring it

onto a large damask napkin, spreading it thinly. You leave it to drain,

and then roll it up like Lady Aoife's favorite, cabbage cream.





Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 17:42:14 -0500

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Farmer's cheese - OT sorta


> I have a recipe that call's for farmer's cheese. I have searched all

> the grocery chains around here for it.  But to no avail.


> Or, is there a mixture I can make from two other cheeses that will end

> up resembling farmer's cheese?

> Kateryn de Develyn

> debh at microware.com


take a collander, line it with gauze, drain a large container of cottage

cheese mixed with the little one serving cup of unflavored yoghurt

overnight, then press out the rest of the whey.





Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 13:56:16 -0600

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #442


Kathryn wrote:

>I have a recipe that call's for farmer's cheese. I have searched all the

grocery chains around here for it.  But to no avail.  

>What is it?  

>What is a reasonable substitute?  

>Can I use riccota?

>Or dry-curd cottage cheese?  

>Or is it more closely related to something else?  

>Or, is there a mixture I can make from two other cheeses that will end up

resembling farmer's cheese?

>Kateryn de Develyn

>debh at microware.com


Farmer's cheese is a rather plain, whole-milk cheese that is made "green" .

Anticipating the questions, green cheese is not actually the color green. It

is merely "unripened" or fresh. For farmer's cheese, rennet is used to make

a large curd. The curds are pressed with salt sprunkled amongst them in the

vate (cheese press). A Follower (press) and Weights are added to extract the

extra whey. It sits like this for many hours and drips whey. When it is

reasonably dry, you have plain green cheese or farmer's cheese.  Modern

store-bought cottage cheese is the closest you will get if you cannot find

farmer's cheese (we can get it easily in N.E. Penna). However, be advised

that cottage cheese is the above mentioned curds, cut smaller, with cream

added back to them after draining from the whey and a short pressing---that

cream is the "sauce" the curds are in. So you will either press the cottage

cheese to remove the liquid, or you could reduce the overall liquid in your



Curd cheese would be something like cottage cheese without the added liquid,

or farmer's cheese without the pressing.





Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 10:13:55 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: carrot pie and Spanish cheese


And it came to pass on 13 Feb 99,, that david friedman wrote:

> >and for each two pounds of chopped carrots [use] a pound of

> >Trochon cheese and a pound and a half of buttery Pinto cheese,

> >and six ounces of fresh cheese...

> This looks interesting.


I'd be tempted to redact it myself, but my lord husband *loathes*

cooked carrots.


> I assume the fresh cheese would be similar to the

> fresh cheese you get in the Mexican section of the grocery; any guesses

> about Trochon or Pinto cheese?


> Elizabeth/Betty Cook


"Fresh cheese" (queso fresco) could also be translated as new

cheese, if that helps.  "Trochon" is actually Tronchon; there was a

typo, for which I apologize.  I found the following description at






Traditional, creamery, semi-soft cheese made from blended cow's,

goat's and sheep's milk. It has a shape of flattened globe with deep

crater. The natural rind is smooth, glossy and it has a color of

butter. Tronchon resembles a young Caerphilly. The taste is

aromatic, with a background of white wine acidity. The

origin of the shape is obscure but it is replicated today with

moulds. The interior is bone white and has many small holes.


Country: Spain

Milk: cow ewe and goat milk

Texture: semi-soft


In a number of other recipes, the author suggests Parmesan as a

substitute for Tronchon.


I have not found any description of "queso de Pinto" anywhere on

the Web.  I do have access to a rather good import cheese shop

near my workplace.  Maybe I can get over there some time next

week and inquire.


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)



Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 14:41:56 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese questions


"Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" wrote:

> Cream cheese is a late 19th-century American invention.

> Raoghnailt


Yes and no. The bar of Philadelphia-style cream cheese, wrapped in

silvery foil stuff, is as you describe. Cheeses made from cream,

however, are considerably older. There are recipes for cream cheeses,

IIRC, in Digby, possibly Hugh Plat, and Elinor Fettiplace's receipt

book, all 17th century. The main difference between these and Philly

cream cheese is the emulsifying gums added to the latter; whether a

cooked dish calling for a period-style cream cheese would be massively

different when made with the chemical stuff remains to be seen.





Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:01:40 -0700

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese questions


I have made fresh cheese with lots of heavy cream, and the texture is not

even close to the modern stuff.



Stan Wyrm, Artemisia



Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 19:07:28 -0500

From: "catwho at bellsouth.net" <catwho at bellsouth.net>

Subject: SC - Favorite Egg Recipe


Well, this contains eggs (or at least the whites) but I love this!


White Torta


Platina book 8


Prepare a pound and a half of best fresh cheese, chopped especially

fine. Add twelve or fifteen egg whites, half a pound of sugar, half an

ounce of white ginger, half a pound of pork liquamen and as much fresh

butter. Blend in as much milk as you need. When you have blended this,

put it into a pastry crust rolled thin and put it all in a pan and set

it to bake on the hearth with a gentle flame. Then, to give it color,

put coals on the lid. When it is cooked and taken from the pan,

sprinkle ground sugar over it, with rosewater.


The interpretation as found in Cariodoc's Miscellany although I think

that we used all butter or either half butter half shortening instead

of the lard.  


1 lb fresh cheese: ricotta

8 egg whites

2/3 c sugar

1/3 oz fresh ginger

1/4 lb lard

1/4 lb butter

1/2 c milk

10" pastry shell

~2 t sugar

1 t rosewater


Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Soften butter and lard together at room

temperature. Fold together cheese and egg whites, then add sugar,

minced ginger, lard and butter. Mix until fairly uniform. Add milk,

fill shell. Bake at 325deg. for 40 minutes. When oil separates, it is

done. Put under broiler to brown top lightly. Sprinkle sugar and

rosewater, spread on with spoon bottom. Cool until set.


This is a little less butter and lard than Platina suggests, but we

found it too fatty using his quantities.





Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 15:29:22 -0400

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Herb blends for soft cheeses--a question


Maire, try Dill and Chives, a great combination. Thinly sliced Scallions go

well with this as well. I do this all the time. Sprigs of thyme, chopped

oregano, marjoram, etc.. all go well. Try also Garlic and freshly ground

pepper. Try them out at home first.


You could also try serving it with sippets if you really want that cheese

and cracker effect.





Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 22:49:28 PDT

From: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Herb blends for soft cheeses--a question


> Documentation, please?

> Ras


>From my 'celtic' feast last spring, this would be documentation for Ireland,

IIRC. I'm pretty sure it was for fresh cheese with greenery/herbs, it might

be curds. What I served was fresh, pressed but not aged cheese with chopped

herbs mixed in.


Samit Cheese (Fresh Cheese w/herbs)

Source: Land of Milk and Honey: The Story of Traditional Irish Food and

Drink, Brid Mahon,  Poolbeg Press, Dublin, 1991 :  pp. 4 (archeological

evidence) 55(goat cheese), 91-2 (list of cheese types and names), 109    

follow up: Aisling Meic Con Glinne--The Vision of Mac Conglinne, Kuno Meyer

(trans) London, 1892, 5-113


I don't know what the refernce on pg 109 is, sorry.  The follow up is a poem

of a legendary host and the food in his lands, I have not gone back to it,

but evidently learned from somewhere that cheese and or herbs are mentioned.


I don't know if I ever posted my cleaned up menu and references for this,

moving day was bearing down.  If I did, I'm sure Stefan would have filed it

away under Celtic food. If I didn't, Stefan let me know and I'll send it

directly to you.  I recall trying to post another set of my notes and lot's

of people had format troubles.





Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 11:54:36 -0800

From: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: First feasts


>>          Mato (Sweetened goat cheese)



>Is there a recipe for this dish? Olwen


I have the recipe from Thomas Longshanks who is tranlating and slowly

redacting each recipe in a spanish manuscript into a 'direct' recipe as well

as a large quantity version made with more readily available ingredients,

for use at feasts.  He plans to publish this some day and asked me not to

share his work.


However, it is a simple idea:


Fresh goat cheese,sugar, orange flower water or rose water.  Mix. Eat. Die

from pleasure.


I served this with a bisket bread flavored with coriander seed in the

Fettiplace book, which I don't have at hand.  It had eggs, sugar, flour,

crushed coriander seed, done up in the same manner as other bisket bread

recipes. You can probably find one in the Miscellany or Florilegium.


I didn't serve the cheese spread on the cakes as I had no documentable

reason for that.  But the presence of a dish of something spreadable and a

stack of cakes nearby led to the inevitable, and it was good.





Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 15:49:00 +0200

From: UlfR <parlei-sc at algonet.se>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Skyr?  and intro


Skyr is a form of fresh cheese that is mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas,

and still eaten on Iceland. Nanna, being the lucky one, lives on Iceland

where she can get hold of what is the real thing, baring any

evolution/changes that hs taken place over the last 1000 years. Here in

Sweden I have to make do with a substitute, which is the yogurt cheese.

Basically take a suitably tart yogurt, and let it drain from a thin fabric



ISTR that Nanna has earlier posted direction for how to make the

real thing, but you would need access to a live culture to do






From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese of Aragon?

Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 23:26:13 -0400


> I am going to try some recipes of Libre del Coch for a Sca commons this

> Friday. Does anyone know what Cheese of Aragon is?? It's in #50.


<NOTE - See the file: Guisados1-art>


> Andrea

> Ostgardr


Queso de Aragon is also known as Queso Tronchon. It definitely dates to the

Middle Ages. It was originally a goat cheese, but is now made from a blend

of cow and goat milk. It is served fresh or slightly aged, it comes from a

ring mold with a depression in the middle, sort of a like a gelatine mold or

bundt pan, but the center depression doesn't go all the way through. If you

can't get it locally, try mail-order from a Spanish food store like

www.tienda.com. If you want more info, let me know.


Thomas Longshanks



From: Nambeanntan at aol.com

Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 02:51:47 EST

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] good soft cheese, not too old


I found this on the net, it tells about new and not so new cheeses


Cheese is commonly categorized by degree of hardness, ranging from soft and

semisoft, to hard (or firm), very hard, and blue-veined cheeses.


Within the soft cheese category there are soft, fresh cheeses and

soft-ripened cheeses. Soft, fresh cheeses have a high moisture level, the

most delicate flavor, and are the most perishable. A fresh cheese is

unripened and retains much of the fresh milk flavor. (Unripened describes

soft cheeses that aren't aged.) Some well-known fresh cheeses are ricotta,

cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, and mascarpone.


Soft-ripened cheeses have been allowed to mature to various degrees. They

also have a high moisture content, and though mild when young, they develop

a fuller flavor as they age. They ripen inside of a powdery white rind. Brie

and Camembert (which look and taste almost identical) are the most popular;

they have a mild, earthy flavor that blends well with a host of other






From: "Barbara Benson" <vox8 at mindspring.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 22:16:10 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Angel's Food


> As in "angel's food cake?" Do you know if anyone has a period recipe for it?

> --

> David/Cariadoc


I am terribly pleased to be of assistance to you good sir! I make angel's

food frequently to take as "snackies" to events and share with friends.


I usually bring along pizzelles and a tart jam/preserve to go with it. You

smear the angel's food onto the pizzelle and then top with the preserve & it

is quite tasty. I also tend to pack shrewsbury cakes and have one good

friend who is in the habit of making a shrewsbury cake/angel's food oreo!


Happy snacking,


Serena da Riva



Angel's Food


Modern translation by THL Temair Carra




5 oz fresh Ricotta cheese

5 oz marscapone cheese

2 T sugar

2 T orange flower water (to taste)


Mix cheeses with fork or whisk.  Mix in sugar.  Add a small amount of orange

water and increase if needed (amount will depend on the concentration of the

orange water).  Do not use orange oil.  Fluff before serving.



Bibliography: Libra de Sent sovi (Catalan 1324 or before)


Source: Menyar D'`ngels (con sa deu manyar matr cens bolir, o fformatges) Si

vols menyar lo mato, prin lo matr e met-lo en lo morter; e pique'l be ab bon

sucre blanc.  E quant ser` picat, axeteu ab aygua-rrs ho naffa, e met-lo en

gresals ho en escudelles ho ab qui.t vuylles; e drna-ho a menyar.  E si no y

volies metre sucre al piquar, met-hi de bona mel.  E axm matex sse ffa cel

fformatge ffresc, he diu-hi millor, e anomene's menyar d'`ngels.


Translation: If you want to eat the fresh curds, put the curds in the mortar

and pound with some good white sugar.  And when pounded together, blend in

some rosewater or orange-flower water, and put it in bowls or dishes or

whatever you like; and serve it at table.  And if you don't wish to use

sugar, add some good honey.  And you can do the same with fresh cheese,

which is better, and it is called angel's food.



Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 19:49:10 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Angels' Food - a dish for the Angels


Here is a Dish for the Angels. It is from the Florilegium, from

Ruperto de Nola's Libre del Coch, translated by Lady Brighid ni

Chiarain. Is this "Angels food"?





<snip - see Guisados1-art and Guisados2-art>




Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 09:26:42 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grains for Feast? - Menu question


Generys ferch Ednuyed wrote:

> Could I see the translation of the original recipe? I'd like to play with

> the redaction too, as it sounds like another recipe I like...

> Generys


I don't know what version Serena was using, but I found this one online at



Globes (Globi)

Puffy little balls of cheese and flour, deep-fried in olive oil, soaked in honey, and sprinkled with poppy seeds "the best ancient "dough nuts" around


  1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry ricotta cheese

1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

1/2 cup water, lukewarm

olive oil

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup poppy seeds


1.     Put the flour and cheese in a mixing bowl. Blend well with the

finger tips until it has the consistency of corn meal. Mix in the dry yeast  2.     Pour the water into the flour and cheese mixture and blend well.

Let rest 3 minutes, then sprinkle with a little flour and knead until smooth

and elastic. Do the kneading either on a lightly floured surface or in the bowl.


2. Return the dough to the bowl (if necessary). cover with a towel, and let

rise 1 hour.

3. Remove the risen dough from the bowl and roll into a sausage

shape 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 10 pieces, roll each into a ball, and

sprinkle lightly with flour.

4.     Pour enough olive oil into a deep pan so that it will float the

globes (about 1-1/2 inches deep). Heat the oil. Drop a few of the globes into the hot oil and cook until golden brown all over. Remove the globes when finished and drain the clinging oil. Cook the others.

5.     Pour the honey into a bowl, and turn the globes in the honey until

covered. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with the poppy seeds, and

serve when they have cooled.

Note: Dry ricotta cheese is available at any Hickory Farms Store.


                                                         YIELD 10



Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 12:12:08 EDT

From: BaronessaIlaria at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Angel's Food

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


selene at earthlink.net writes:

> I'm looking for the period citation for the sweet called "Angel's

> Food," The one with sweetened ricotta cheese.


It's from Sent Sovi. "Menyar D'Angels" or Angel's Food.

"If you want to eat the fresh curds, put the curds in the mortar and pound

with some good white sugar. And when pounded together, blend in some rosewater

or orange flower water, and put it in bowls or dishes or whatever you like, and

  serve it at table. And if you don't wish to use the sugar, add some good

honey. And you can do the same with fresh cheese, which is better, and it is

called angel's food."


The above is from Santich's The Original Mediterranean Cuisine.





Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 06:25:44 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: fresh cheese

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


>      Huh!  I redacted Sabina Welserin's

> "Genovese Tart" recipe last 12th Night -- a savory

> tart with  spinach, "fresh cheese" (I used ricotta),

> aged cheese (I used parmesan), and olive oil in a

> pastry crust.  <snip>


I looked into the fresh cheese/ricotta issue a while

ago, and pulled quite a few resources from several

Italian manuscripts.

You can see the articles at:


There are also a number of recipes for pasta stuffings

calling for fresh cheese at


In Italy sometimes ricotta is specifically called for

in a recipe, othertimes "fat cheese" or "fresh cheese"

is called for.  From my reading of the articles this

seems to be fresh mozzarella or a farmers type cheese,

rather than ricotta.





Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 09:51:32 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Now that I've had some coffee, I may be a little clearer.


What you consider cheese depends on how tightly you adhere to the technical

definition, which is "a food made from curd of milk seperated from the

whey."  Ricotta made by cooking the whey and condensing it, so under the

technical definition, it isn't a cheese. It is called "cheese" because

it resembles cheese.  Picky, picky, picky, right?


Fresh cheese is cheese which has not been fermented, which usually means a

soft, unripened cheese (I can't think of any other kind of fresh cheese, but

I haven't tried them all).  In general, fresh cheese will taste sweeter

And milder than other cheeses.


Under the strict definition, ricotta (and cream cheese) aren't cheese at

all.  Most people, however, ignore the precise differences and consider them

cheese.  In the latter case, ricotta would be considered a fresh cheese.


When fresh cheese is called for, I tend to use drained cottage cheese or

fresh mozzarella (if I can find it), but I would use ricotta if it was what

I had available.




> How can you tell it's ricotta as opposed to something else?

> And while I'm definitely not an expert on anything, let alone foods or

> cheese, I've always thought of ricotta as belonging in the fresh-cheese

> category, if only because my brain has categorized fresh cheeses as

> "those ones you have to refrigerate" vs., say a "cured" (?right word?)

> cheese like cheddar or roquefort or something. Perhaps the confusion

> lies in what we think of when we say a "fresh" cheese?

> --maire's two pence worth....

> Terry Decker wrote:

>> I'd say your cheesemaker is correct.  Ricotta is a condensed whey product

>> and definitely not fresh cheese. That being said, there is a 16th Century

>> painting of formed ricotta being eaten by a group of people from a plate

>> using spoons.


>> Bear


>>      I'm curious to get responses from this group --

>> how appropriate is ricotta as a "fresh cheese"

>> substitute in redactions, in your opinion?  Thought

>> I might hear from some more cheese-knowledgeable

>> folks than myself.  After all, blessed are the

>> cheesemakers.  ;)  :)


>>               -- Ruth



Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 12:16:09 -0400

From: "chirhart_1" <chirhart_1 at netzero.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


But you are "Making Cheese" you do not just use the Whey only, You add milk

to the whey Heat it to temperature 160 to 180 ,add vinegar which

precipitates "New Curds" to form from milk added , to which the small

already made cheese particles addhear to.So actually you are making

cheese. Not a lot, but some.



----- Original Message -----

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

> What you consider cheese depends on how tightly you adhere to the


> definition, which is "a food made from curd of milk seperated from the

> whey."  Ricotta made by cooking the whey and condensing it, so under

> the technical definition, it isn't a cheese.  



Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 09:45:58 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Greetings, Ruth.  This gentleman sounds like a person

I'd love to talk cheese with!  :)


My opinion:


I feel Ricotta is entirely appropriate as a fresh

cheese, cheese made from whey is still cheese.

Ricotta, in particular, is actually the remaining bits

of milk fats and protein that were not gotten in the

previous coagulation which are coagulated and strained

out of the whey.  A whey cheese that I would feel is

not fresh cheese is Gjetost, cooked down and

carmelized whey.  Gjetost keeps very well and so is

rarely sold fresh, but it can be made fresh if you

have the time to stand over your pot and stir. <G>  I

did that once and once was enough!


Ricotta must be made from freshly made whey, a

by-product of making a fuller-fat cheese, no more than

one hour old - and it only lasts for a short period of

time.  It was such a widely used cheese in period that

they tried to find ways to preserve it longer.  One

method was by salting and pressing as much of the

moisture out of it, this is Ricotta Salata.  There is

also a smoked version.  Another method was to drain it

further in baskets and to age it, allowing the

moisture to dry out of the cheese.  This is called

Ricotta Stagionata and is used for grating.


Other fresh cheeses that are good choices are cottage

cheese, quark, young slipcoat cheese, straight curds,

neufchatel (french cream cheese), and yogurt.  Also,

cheeses can be eaten at any point in their aging

cycle.  That batch of gouda that you just took out of

the press is considered a young/fresh cheese, until it

begins to form its rind.  There are only a few of the

cheeses that can only be eaten fresh as they do not

age at all due to their high whey content (see those

listed above).  It's the whey that causes a cheese to

go bad as it is a prime breeding ground for mold



Cheese is a living, breathing creature and has a

life-cycle just as we do.  They begin young and fresh,

age a bit to have a rind and a mild somewhat moist or

elastic paste, then they begin to get a thicker rind

and a dryer paste, and if you can stand to wait for a

year or longer the paste will become grainy and more

and more dried out.  Parmesan is aged for a minimum of

two years before it is released by the affineur

(cheese ager).





Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 10:08:17 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Actually, anytime you add a culture to a cheese it

starts the fermentation process, as the enzymes begin

to transform the liquid milk into a solid mass.  That

would include cottage cheese, quark, and neufchatel.

If you consider that fresh cheese is only curds that

have been separated from the whey without any form of

fermentation, that pretty much limits it to straight

curds precipitated out of the whey using a form of




West Kingdom Cheesemaker's Guild



Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 12:51:58 -0500

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?


It's worth noting that you can buy stuff called "fresh cheese" in

Spanish in some grocery stores--Quesa Fresca I think (but I don't

know Spanish). You can also get something similar in Middle Eastern

grocery stores. My guess is that that's closer than ricotta. But a

cheese expert I'm not.






Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 15:28:48 -0700

From: "Patricia Collum" <pjc2 at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


The Queso Fresca I have used is a very fine curd, mild flavored fresh cheese

more similar in texture to the cheese we made fresh with lemon juice and

whole milk on the stove top, without the lemony flavor.


Cecily (in Atenveldt)

----- Original Message -----

From: "david friedman" <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>


> It's worth noting that you can buy stuff called "fresh cheese" in

> Spanish in some grocery stores--Quesa Fresca I think (but I don't

> know Spanish). You can also get something similar in Middle Eastern

> grocery stores. My guess is that that's closer than ricotta. But a

> cheese expert I'm not.

> --

> David/Cariadoc



Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 10:23:13 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


"Cream cheese" is a soft, fresh cheese usually made, I think (can't find

the cheese cookbook to verify) with a rennet. And it's probably got the

highest fat content of the three--ISTR a number of different variations

in my cheese book that had varying milk/cream ratios.


"Ricotta" is made from the whey that's left over after you make cheese.

I think it has to be done with fresh whey, as well.  Most recipes I've

seen have you add some milk to the whey, to increase output.  One heats

the fresh whey to a certain temperature and (I think) adds an acid

(vinegar?), which precipitates the little ricotta curds.


The third cheese is NOT made with either a whey or a rennet, but with

milk (usually whole) and lemon juice.  I think my book refers to it as a

"bag cheese," because it's one of the ones you hang up in a bag of

cheesecloth to let the extra whey drip out.  It's a fairly soft, fresh

cheese as well.


I can always taste the lemon juice, so I don't normally make it,

although it might be really nice in cheesecake.  I like to make bag

cheese using whole milk and vinegar....

As far as the browning goes in Katira's post, I'm assuming that she made

the same dish 3 times, each with a different cheese, and that it was the

dish that was browned.




"Harris Mark.S-rsve60" wrote:

> Katira commented:


> I once made an entry for a 'Spoon' (cooking) contest

> that called for fresh cheese.  I made three versions

> and submitted them all for the judges to taste.  Cream

> cheese, ricotta cheese and my own fresh cheese (milk

> and lemon juice).

> <<<

> Okay, even with the recent discussion I'm a bit confused about the

> differences between these three types of cheese. Can someone summarize

> these? The ricotta uses the whey and rennet? The cream cheese uses

> cream and rennet? And the other uses milk (regular? reduced fat? and

> lemon juice?


> I couldn't tell the difference myself except a vague

> difference in the coloring of the browned tops, yet

> each judge favored a different one!

> <<<

> "Browned tops"? Were these baked? Or does the cheese get browned just

> sitting there?

>   Stefan



Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 21:56:10 -0700

From: Ruth Frey <ruthf at uidaho.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: ricotta as "fresh cheese"?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have found a *ton* of recipes for cheese tarts,

both sweet and savory . . . One of my favorites

is Lese Fryes . . . Here's the recipe:


> Lese Fryes

  Take fresh cheese, and pare it clene, and grinde

hit in a morter small . . .


> My redaction:

> 16 oz. Ricotta . . .


      Huh!  I redacted Sabina Welserin's "Genovese

Tart" recipe last 12th Night -- a savory tart with

spinach, "fresh cheese" (I used ricotta), aged

cheese (I used parmesan), and olive oil in a pastry

crust.  It was very yummy, and got a good response

from everyone who tried it, but our local

cheesemaking expert really gave me a chewing out for

using ricotta, since it turns out ricotta is a whey

product and not actually a cheese at all (or so he

told me, and I respect his knowledge of the

subject).  He did admit the dish was tasty as

redacted, but we worked out that I should try some

cream cheese or cottage cheese "drip strained" (like

you do with yogurt for yogurt "cheese") and blended

for my next attempt, so I would not offend the

cheese-knowledgeable in the audience.  It was

actually a very fun discussion . . . :) But:


      I'm curious to get responses from this group --

how appropriate is ricotta as a "fresh cheese"

substitute in redactions, in your opinion?  Thought

I might hear from some more cheese-knowledgeable

folks than myself.  After all, blessed are the

cheesemakers.  ;)  :)


               -- Ruth


Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 08:54:27 -0700

From: Sheila McClune <smcclune at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Melca

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


From: Patrick Levesque <patrick.levesque at elf.mcgill.ca>

> Notes : Melcas : with pepper and liquamen, or salt, oil and coriander,

> Melcas is, as far as I can tell, some form of curdled milk (or milk curdled

> with vinegar). It may have been similar to buttermilk, but I need to

> research this topic a bit more. For convenience¹s sake I¹ve used instead

> cottage cheese, mixed with the appropriate ingredients.

> This is a redaction that does not satisfy me properly (mostly

> because it is still unclear to me what melcas is exactly). However I have

> decided to include it in the feast i order to have a different kind of

> spread than the usual honey butter.


Well, I've done melca, and here's the recipe I've used:


Melca [Fresh Cheese (Curds)]


"The best method for making what are known as curds is to pour sharp

vinegar into new earhenware pots and then to put these pots on a slow

fire. When the vinegar begins to boil, take it off the flame so it does

not bubble over and pour milk into the pots.  Place the pots in a store

or some other place where they will not be disturbed.  The next day you

will have curds that are much better than those made with a great deal

of fuss."

--Bassus, Country Matters .



Grant, Mark.  Roman Cookery:  Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens.

Serif, London, 2000.  ISBN 1-897959-39-7.


My re-creation:


1 quart whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 pinches salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)


In a saucepan over low heat, mix milk and cream and heat to just over

body temperature (105-110 degrees F).  Set aside.  In a heavy sauce pan, heat vinegar to boiling.  Remove vinegar from heat and pour the milk

into the vinegar pan.  Let stand just until curds form (this should

happen almost right away - if not, try stirring gently).  Line a

colander with heavy cheesecloth  and strain the mixture through this.

Tie up the four corners of the cloth and let hang for 2-4 hours to drain

off the whey.  Transfer cheese to serving dish and stir in salt.  Makes

1 1/4 cup.


Additional notes:  This recipe also works well with goat milk, but the

curds form will be very fine (about the size of grains of salt), so

you will need very fine cloth to strain the cheese.  I used a linen



Balsamic vinegar is too strongly flavored for this recipe.  It will make

an extremely sour cheese.


If possible, use a ceramic- or enamel-coated pan to make the cheese.

Otherwise, the acid will leach metal into the cheese and spoil the

flavor. If you don't have a ceramic- or enamel-coated pan, then remove

the cheese from the pan as quickly as possible.



Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 07:16:18 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Also sprach Ariane Helou:

> It sounds a little like cottage cheese to me.


Junket is softer, and less distinctively curdy, than cottage cheese.

More like milk-based Jello or the softest varieties of Japanese tofu

in consistency. The primary difference is that junket is made to be

eaten in less than, say, 12 hours after adding the rennet, and so

drainage isn't really encouraged in any extreme way. So, the curds

are left to drain, but are otherwise left pretty much undisturbed,

and it doesn't really have a lot of little, broken curds. Ideally,

it's one big, soft curd.


> I'm not sure what "put it between reeds" means -- pressing it, I

> suppose?  Which would mean it's much more solid than cottage cheese

> -- maybe more like farmer's cheese or something.  The alternate

> instructions to put it in cold water make me think that the curds

> can either be pressed and served later, or kept cool and served

> fresh the same day.


Junket, it has been alleged by some, is named for the woven

broomflower (jonquil) stem basket traditionally associated with

draining the stuff. Putting it between reeds suggests, to me, that it

goes on top of a row or mat of reeds laid out to allow drainage, then

covered with more reeds to protect it from drying, bugs and dust. I

don't think it's pressed, except perhaps by gravity. The instruction

to put it in cold water suggests that the goal is to keep it firm,

but also moist, and above all, to keep it from souring.


> Since the meal I'm planning this for is at a camping event, I'd need

> to make the junket anywhere from a week to a day in advance, so the

> pressed version seems more appropriate.  On the other hand, if it's

> going to be very time-consuming or difficult, perhaps I ought to

> just buy more cheeses and devote my energies to the more substantial

> and central parts of the meal... which brings me back to the

> question of what a finished junket looks like, anyway. :-)


I'd try making a batch, maybe according to a modern recipe (you can

even buy commercial junket tablets, which supply a weaker form of

rennet than that used for cheeses), just to become familiar with the

process before you decide what to do in the end. Me, I'd just make it

at the event, in the morning, and serve it in the evening.





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 08:36:02 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Junket is what you get when you turn milk into curds.

It is a really soft, moist curd and is set at a lower

temperature and is kept pretty much intact.  A general

rule of thumb is the higher the heat and smaller the

curd the harder it is.  Brie, a very soft cheese,

keeps the curd in large uncut slices, Parmesean, a

very hard cheese, cuts them to about corn kernel size.


In some grocery stores you can find "junket tablets"

which are just a weaker form of rennet.  They're

usually somewhere around the canning supplies.


The reed mats were used for drainage to dry the curd

out enough to handle for serving.  My recommendation

is to use a couple of sushi mats with a layer of

cheesecloth (the real stuff), linen or muslin between

the junket and the mat.  This is a *really* fresh

cheese and won't last more than a couple of days.  As

Adamantius said I'd make this the morning of the event

for an evening serving.  





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 13:05:15 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I did junket of sorts for my desserts for the Ladies of the Rose

in June 2002. I based mine on "A Summer Dishe"

--- This recipe is given by Peter Brears in his article on “Rare

Conceits”which appears in the book Banquetting Stuffe.

The original appears in the Recipe Book that belonged to Margaret Savile.

From my notes that I did at the time I wrote:


The success of this dish lies in keeping it cold and in using enough

rennet to set up the milk, cream or half & half .


<> I also noted-- under Commentary and Important Notes— <>

All of these dishes (there was a cream, jelly, and the junket) require

that they be kept cold after making for best results. The jelly and the

summer dish did not really survive well the extended period of time

prior to being served. Had they been served at noon as I thought was the

schedule or approximately four hours from the time of being taken out of

the cold refrigerator, both would have represented the sorts of dishes

they were intended to be. Neither survived the nearly 12 hours on just

blue ice in 85 degree heat on June 1st without some melting. Both at the

time of eventual serving at past 8 in the evening were more “sauce” than

set jelly or set junket. They tasted fine, but they were not exactly as

originally intended.


So-- depending on how hot it is, your junket may melt! I know mine did.


http://www.junketdesserts.com/ has a number of recipes and tips that

might also be of interest to you.





Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 11:15:04 +1200 (NZST)

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spanish recipe question.

To: "jenne at fiedlerfamily.net" <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>,    Cooks within

      the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Quoting Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>:

> ... I want to serve Food for Angels (sweetened curd cheese).


I think I've only had Food for Angels made with ricotta, but if you wanted to

make soft curd cheese, my recipe is at http://peerlesskitchen.livejournal.com/.


Adele d'M



Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 16:23:18 -0400

From: "Kerri Martinsen" <kerrimart at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] NOTT feast report (VERY long) (was fish)

To: grizly at mindspring.com,       "Cooks within the SCA"

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Marscapone cheese:


-Take 16oz of 1/2 & 1/2 "cream".

-Heat over a double boiler to 165 degrees

-Add 1/4 tsp Tartar Acid (http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/tartaric_acid.html )

  - available here:



-Continue to stir constantly until the cream thickens to "tapaoica" stage.

Do not heat cream over 175 degrees.  Remove from heat.

-Line a sieve with butter cheesecloth or 2 layers of a thin cloth.  Place

this in a bowl large enough to contain all 16 oz of liquid.

-Pour the cream into the cloth.  The cheese will separate from the whey in

the bowl.  Let the cheese sit in the whey overnight in the refrigerator

(cover the cheese lightly with the overhanging cloth.

-The next morning remove the cheese from the whey and let drip for an hour

or so.

-Stir to smooth out & serve.


I like to retain the whey until I have stirred the cheese.  Sometimes I feel

the need to add a bit of the whey back into it to loosen it up,  but YMMV.


Yield: 8-10 oz Marscapone cheese.


It took me 3 tries to get the right consistancy, but it isn't expensive to

try and it doesn't take a whole day of work either.





Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 13:20:15 -0400

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] "Fresh" Cheese Question

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Greetings! I'm messing around with a 15th-century "tart owte of lente"

recipe which calls for "nesshe" (fresh) cheese.  Robin, at Hampton Court,

said to use either Cheshire or Wensleydale cheese.  However, in looking

through the Florilegium, it would seem that these aren't "fresh" cheeses.

Would you agree?  In one of Bear's old posts he mentions using "farmer's

cheese" for fresh cheese, and others suggest that if that isn't available,

to drain cottage cheese as an approximation.  I also saw that someone

suggested using fresh mozzarella for "fresh cheese" in a recipe.  So... if

I wanted to try another version of the "tart owte of lente", what would you

think about using a) fresh mozzarella; b) farmer's cheese (if available);

c) drained cottage cheese?  Has anyone made a baked cheese tart using any

of these?


I've made the tart three ways so far, using Cheshire, Wensleydale and

Double Gloucester.  All are darned expensive.  I thought I might try Colby

(which isn't period, but which is cheaper) because it's a little "crumbly"

which is what someone suggested.  Any comments before I head back out to

the grocery store??  Thanks!


Alys Katharine



Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 13:31:57 EDT

From: Etain1263 at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Fresh" Cheese Question

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


In a message dated 6/2/2008 1:20:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  

alysk at ix.netcom.com writes:

<<< what  would you

think about using a) fresh mozzarella; b) farmer's cheese (if  available);

c) drained cottage cheese? >>>


I just read an article on making mozzarella..and it's basically taking the  

curds of freshly made rennet cheese, heating it up and pulling it like taffy  

until it all melds together.  then you can braid, roll, whatever shape you  

wish. So...cottage cheese and farmer cheeses are basically fresh curd,  drained

and mixed with cream (cottage) or pressed into a container "as is"  


The least processed (meaning additives) would be farmer  cheese.  The most:

cottage.   Mozzarella is inbetween..no  additives, but more handling.  





Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 10:49:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: Doc <edoard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Fresh" Cheese Question

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


A related sidenote:  "nesshe" (or "nesche") here is

probably not a transcription/copy error for "fresh",

but is most likely spelled as intended.  "Nesche" is

the Middle-English word for "soft", so the recipe as

written is calling for a soft cheese.


If I were making such a recipe and feeling lazy, I'd

probably use mozzarella.  However, I would also be

curious how it would turn out using freshly-made



- Doc



Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 11:00:41 -0700

From: Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Fresh" Cheese Question

To: edoard at medievalcookery.com,  Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Doc wrote:

A related sidenote:  "nesshe" (or "nesche") here is

probably not a transcription/copy error for "fresh",

but is most likely spelled as intended.  "Nesche" is

the Middle-English word for "soft", so the recipe as

written is calling for a soft cheese.

---------------- End original message. ---------------------


With the exception of some of the ripened cheese such as Brie and

similar ones, a "soft" cheese is also usually a fresh cheese. So I

don't think that the use of fresh in place of "nesche" is necessarily

wrong. I think they could be considered synonymous in this usage.





Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 23:21:44 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Fresh" Cheese Question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


And to muddy the waters even further there is another of these recipes.

The "Auther Tartus" is indexed in the Concordance as another Tart out of


It's in Harl. 4016


Auter Tartus. ? Take faire ness? chese that is buttry, and par hit,

grynde hit in a morter; caste therto faire creme and grinde hit togidre;

temper hit with goode mylke, that hit be no thikker ?en? rawe creme, and

cast thereto a litul salt if nede be; And thi chese be salte, caste

thereto neuer a dele; colour hit wit? saffron?; then? make a large coffyn?

of faire paste, & lete the brinkes be rered more ?en? an enche of heg?;

lete ?e coffyn? harden? in ?e oven?; ?en? take it oute, put gobettes of

butter in the bothom? thereof, And caste the stuffe there-to, and caste

peces of buttur there-vppon?, and sette in ?e oven? wit?-oute lydde, and

lete bake ynowe, and then? cast sugur thereon?, and serue it fort?. And if

?ou wilt, lete him haue a lydde; but ?en? thi stuff most be as thikke as





Doc wrote:

I believe this is the one that Her Excellency is

referring to:


For tarts owte of lente. Take neshe chese and pare hit

and grynd hit yn A morter and breke egges and do ther

to and then put yn buttur and creme and mell all well

to gethur put not to moche butter ther yn if the chese

be fatte make A coffyn of dowe and close hit a bove

with dowe and collor hit a bove with the yolkes of

eggs and bake hit well and serue hit furth.

[Gentyll manly Cokere (MS Pepys 1047)]




If so, then I see something else interesting.  "Take

neshe chese and pare hit ..."  If this recipe were

calling for something like ricotta or freshly-made

cheese then pareing it (removing any rind, mold, dry

part, etc) wouldn't make much sense.



Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 19:43:15 -0500

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Greek yogurt RE: cream cheese


If you let a batch of yogurt, American or otherwise, drain in a strainer for

a couple of hours, you actually get yogurt cheese or labneh.  But I have

done this with American yogurt and Greek yogurt (both cow's milk) and goats'

milk yogurt.  I personally love the goats milk version the best...it's a

little tangier.


Kiri (who's also fond of goats' milk butter!)



Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 20:56:38 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Labneh as a substitute for "cream cheese"


Adelisa wrote:

<<< The talk about cream cheeses made me go look up the ingredients for

the package of Ulker brand labneh (Turkish yogurt cheese) I have in

the refrigerator now:

Pasteurized whole milk, milk fat, starter, salt. >>>


I don't doubt that modern Turks use it, or at least sell it in their

shops in the US, but labneh isn't Turkish, its originated in the

Arabic speaking world, after all, its name is Arabic. It is common in

the Levant.


<<< I took a package of this yesterday and mixed it with garlic pepper,

dried dill, and vegetable flakes into a dip for a party; the

texture, dare I say it, is virtually identical to good old

Philadelphia cream cheese, and the flavor is fresher and better; not

quite the tang of plain sour cream or yogurt, but close. >>>


Second, as something of an aficionado of labneh, i wouldn't say it is

virtually identical to Philly brand; nay, I'd say it is far, far

superior to that nasty stuff.


Labneh is generally drained yogurt.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 14:49:55 -0500 (EST)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pasta sauce


On Dec 13, 2009, at 1:21 PM, I wrote:

<<< The "fresh cheeses dripping with butter and milk on all sides," what kind of cheese do you think he was referring to? It certainly doesn't sound like Parmesan. Taking a look at the Florilegium and the cheese entries there, could Landi have been referring to a mascarpone? >>>


Adamantius replied:

<<< I would think it's something in a cohesive mass, but barely. Buffalo-milk mozzarella? >>>


Actually, I think I have solved the mystery of what this fresh, dripping-with-milk-and-butter Sicilian cheese could be - fresh tuma (I understand it was originally made from sheep's milk, but it's more often made with cows milk today). Aged tuma is eaten as a table cheese, but the very fresh, just barely out of the mold (12 hours) stuff would be very similar to fresh mozzarella or a firm ricotta in texture, and it's weepy.


Here is Saputo of Canada's version of it:



There's a gourmet cheese store in South Philadelphia that sells a version of aged tuma, "Tuma Persa" ("Lost Tuma," so called because the producer of the cheese discovered a 100-year-old recipe for the cheese in a closet in his new home outside of Palermo, and recognized that this recipe had been lost). I should ask them if they have fresh tuma.


I found mention of a modern-day pastry from the Madonie Mountains of Sicily; they are stuffed with fresh tuma and flavored with chocolate and cinnamon. I guess they're using it similar to ricotta in cannoli.


So, if I were recreating the dish of pasta as described by Landi for a feast, I'd use a combination of very fresh mozzarella and ricotta, tossed with the hot pasta and then sprinkled with the cinnamon and sugar; I am betting that tuma would be so expensive it would be priced out of just about every feast budget.





Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 11:34:14 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A Question about farmer's cheese


On Dec 23, 2009, at 10:08 AM, Jennifer Carlson wrote:

<<< There are two different styles of cheese labelled "Farmer's Cheese" that show up at my supermarket.  One is a firm cheese, with a consistency like Monterey Jack, but with a milder flavor, and is available year-round.  The other, which only shows up a couple of times a year, is packaged like Philadelphia style cheese, and has a consistency between that of cream cheese and drained ricotta.


My question is: when a recipe calls for farmer's cheese, which type should I use? >>>


The hard-type cheese you're referring to is, in my experience, more often referred to as "farmhouse", rather than "farmer's". It's similar to white Cheddar in some ways.


Farmer's Cheese (again, in my experience, and YMMV) is more often referring to the compressed curd block in a small brick like Philadelphia Cream Cheese.


The confusion may reflect regional differences in practice, a labeling error on the part of the manufacturer, distributor or store, or any of several other possibilities. Usually the recipe will give you an instruction that should enable you to tell which one is meant. If it is grated, sliced, or melted, it's probably the hard white cheese. If mashed or pureed, probably the little package of white curd cheese.





Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 11:11:56 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A Question about farmer's cheese


It's a regional thing.


In MN, WI, and Chicago, "farmer's cheese" is the solid white mild stuff

and there is really no such thing as pot cheese or hoop cheese. Confused

the hell out of me when I would read recipes in cookbooks calling for a

farmer's cheese that was obviously *not* referring to the firmer stuff.


Margaret FitzWilliam



Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 18:43:03 -0400

From: Kate Wood <malkin at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] quark?


<<< Okay, I'm a bit confused. What is this 'quark'? Is it a fresh cheese? Is it

a sour cream? Is it a different fermented milk product? I doubt it is a

sub-atomic particle.


Stefan >>>


Quark is a fresh cheese, it tastes a lot like fromage frais (the

version not intended for consumption by children) or yogurt cheese but

a bit tangier. You can add fruit to it, like yogurt, or use it like

you would creme fraiche or sour cream, or you can make tarts with it.

I have used it in sambocade, it's nice. (I think it's from Poland).





Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 22:28:06 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] quark?


Quark is German for "curd, curds" and thus covers a wide range of fresh

cheeses. Quarkka:se means fresh or cream cheese.





Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 08:47:50 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Almond Milk Cheese Redux


<<< I found the information that Bear posted quite helpful - that quark means

curds - so perhaps the way to translate this recipe for "mandel zu:ger" is

almond curd rather than almond cheese?   It took a while to find the

glossary references to the medieval zuger/zyger/ziger meaning quark so I

thought it meant something similar to the modern.  Well, as we all know,

that assumption can be a mistake!  However, it seems clear from the recipe

that this is a simple fresh cheese such as quark still is.  What a great

onomatopoetic word for the sound of a squeeking cheese curd :)


Katherine >>>


The modern spelling is Zieger(ka:se) meaning "soft, milk, or cream cheese."

A reference in Cassell's places ziger as Swiss dialect, and Zieger as

dialect, so it is likely that this pops up in works written in Southern

Germany and Switzerland.  As a possibly bad guess, the word may originally

refer to goat's (die Ziege) milk cheese.





Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 21:14:45 +0200

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] quark?


Quark or Topfen (as it is called in Austria) tasets very simmilar to cream

cheese. It has also a very simmilar texture, except for the so called

Bro:seltopfen wich has a lot less water than normal Topfen (full fat or low


According to the Canadian page I found, both are made in a simmilar fashion.

I did substitute creamcheese and topfen in various recipes both ways with



Here's the wiki link



and I found a canadian page that has detailed information:



"cited from web page:


Fresh cheese:

There are four principal types of acid coagulated fresh cheese: Cottage

cheese (North American), Quark types such as Baker's cheese (European),

Cream cheese, and heat-acid precipitated types including Paneer (India) and

traditional Queso Blanco (Latin American). With some qualifications it can

be said that these types are all made by acid coagulation of caseins rather

than rennet coagulation. The qualifications are that small amounts of rennet

are used to improve the texture of cottage cheese, and both Queso Blanco and

Paneer manufacture employ the principle of heat-acid precipitation which

includes whey proteins in the casein coagulum. Cottage cheese, quark and

cream cheese are normally acidified by lactic fermentation while Paneer and

traditional Queso Blanco are acidified by the addition of organic acids to

hot milk. In modern commercial manufacture most Latin American white cheese

is coagulated with rennet (with no culture addition) and consumed fresh.


What follows are VERY detailed recipes for industrial production"


Regards Katharina

From a very rainy Vienna



Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 13:02:05 -0700

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] quark?


A local cheesemaker sells it at our farmer's market.  Plain, garlic, vanilla and the most incredible lemon (Meyers)!  Like but not as smooth as cream cheese.  I smear the lemon quark on fresh strawberries.....yum!  


And I've always had giggle over the name too.





Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 16:14:45 -0700 (PDT)

From: wheezul at canby.com

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Creamy recipes from Rontzier


I love creamy desserts!  I am thinking what I could possibly bring to 16th

century day at An Tir West War, and since I am dessert oriented, I've been

looking all around my source material.


I thought others might be interested in these two, especially as the first

is a period recipe for cream cheese.  




I've transcribed the German without the diacritical marks for the digest

folk (double ss, ue etc.)  Does anyone know what rc. means as an

abbreviation in German?


These are from Rontzier's "Kunstbuch von Mancherley Essen" dated 1598


Von Flot Kesen

Man thut Laue in Flot das es ruenne /

gibts darnach in Formen oder durchschlege das die

Waddecke dadurch lauffe / gibts darnach in ein Sil-

ber / und frisch Flot darueber / wescht Erd: oder hei-

delbirn in Wein auss und gibt sie auch darueber / etc.


About Cream Cheese

One adds rennet in cream so it curdles /

give it next in a form or sieve that the

whey there-through runs / give it forth in a sil-

ver [dish] / and fresh cream there over / wash straw- or

bilberries [huckleberries] out in wine and place them over the top / etc.


<snip. See desserts-msg file>



Who is sending fair warning that she is in evil dessert mode.



Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 22:30:51 -0800

From: freyja <freyja7777 at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mascarpone


On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 10:15 PM, Stefan li Rous

<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

Kitta declared:

<<< If you want to know how to make mascarpone, let me know... >>>


The answer is yes, please.


Is mascarpone a "fresh cheese" like cream cheese? Does it have sugar added?







No sugar added until later if you want for your usage of the

mascarpone (or honey, or whatever).


I would think this is a "fresh cheese".  I call it "Italian cream cheese".


Happy Cooking!!






Recipe Source: Giuliano Bugialli's Classic Techniques of Italian

Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli (Fireside)

Reprinted with permission.


Make your own fresh and creamy mascarpone cheese at home the Italian

way. Plan ahead as this recipe will need refrigeration at least 12

hours before using. Use within 1 week.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes




   * 1 quart heavy cream

   * 1/4 teaspoon tartaric acid




See notes below about ingredients.


Pour cream into a Pyrex saucepan and fit over another pot, creating a

bagnomaria (double boiler/bain marie). Bring the cream to a

temperature of 180 degrees F. and remove from the heat. Stir with a

wooden spoon for 30 seconds and then remove the Pyrex from the

bagnomaria and keep stirring for 2 minutes more. Add the tartaric



Line a basket with HEAVY cheesecloth and pour in the cream. Let the

mascarpone stand for 12 hours in cool place or the lower level of your



Cut four 9-inch squares of heavy cheesecloth. Open one on the table.


With a large spoon, transfer 1/4 of the mascarpone to the center of

the square. Fold one side on top and then fold over the other side,

then fold over both ends. Put the package of mascarpone, folded side

down, on a serving dish. Prepare the remaining 3 squares in the same

way. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before using. Use within one




The heavy cream should be pasteurized, but not "ultra-pasteurized."

Ultra-pasteurized has "off" taste to it and can ruin a lot of dishes.

The pasteurized can be found in health food stores, along with the

tartaric acid.



Kitta's notes:

I have purchased the tartaric acid at wine-making supply shops.


Do NOT cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  You want the cream to

evaporate and not form condensation!!


I've never used any cheese cloth.  I just used a stainless bowl for

the top of the bain marie and put the cream/tartaric acid mixture

right in the refrigerator in the bowl after heating/whisking.  Usually

the next day the mascarpone was ready for my tiramisu!!



Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2011 22:20:04 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cream cheese?


Toussaint-Samat dates cream cheese to classical times.


The drained cream cheese called turos by the ancient Greeks, and tiri  

by their modern descendants, ... The Romans also ate cream cheese  

prepared in the Greek fashion: hypotrima, to which dried fruits and  

wine of the aperitif type were added.





Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 09:11:54 +0100 (BST)

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] quark


--- Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> schrieb am Sa, 6.8.2011:

Liutgard inquired:

<<< How about quark? Anyone here worked with it? There is apparently a

possible mention of it in Tacitus, which has me rummaging through my

books to see if I have his stuff on the Germanic peoples..>>>.


Doing a search on the Florilegium finds a number of

mentions, although the one that seems to have a period

mention of it, is in this file:

fd-Germany-msg (152K) 9/20/10 Medieval and Period German

food. Cookbooks.


Part of the problem is determining what makes quark

different from any other cream cheese, other than the name.



Not a lot, really. Quark is made from (usually skimmed) milk, curdled with rennet at room temperature, lightly drained, then passed through a fine sieve to produce an even consistency. Commercially produced varieties have their fat content standardized by adding cream (anywhere between the lowest German standard type of 10% and the highest Swiss type at 55% fat in dried form is possible). Artisanal quark is not normalized, and its fat content depends on the milk used. The typical DIY-guides for Quark I've found all suggest using buttermilk to introduce the curdling agent, so I suppose it really doesn't matter that much.


AFAIK most cream cheeses have higher fat contents and less moisture than quark. Quark is pretty moist, almost semi-liquid, and does not hold together at all. That's about it.


BTB, the Tacitus reference is to lac concretum, supposedly the same thing elsewhere referred to as melca. We do not know the curdling agent, but I would suppose rennet, being rather more difficult to obtain than lactic acid bacteria or plant juices, would not have been used all the time. A fifteenth-century reference to Herbstmilch, a curdled milk that can be stored in cool rooms for a long time, only mentions introducing an already curdled starter. That suggests lactic acid bacteria. Though my Latin is limited, I guess 'lac concretum' also fits this better.





Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 12:00:29 +0200

From: Ana Vald?s <agora158 at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cream cheese?


Another variation of the ricotta topic, the Swiss Serac cheese






Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 22:09:46 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fresh Cheese was Little Black Zambo


<<< I shall stop here to prepare a second message in an attempt to get to the

root of the matter  - what is queso fresco/fresh cheese and how can we

deal with it properly when attempting to recreate medieval recipes?


Suey >>>


Fresh cheese is a general term for cheese produced from cow, sheep or goat

milk coagulated by adding rennet or an edible acid (lemon juice, vinegar,

etc.). The whey is drained and the curds are pressed to produce a soft,

unripened white cheese.  Usually, I can find this in the grocery as farmer's



Cream cheese is a form of fresh cheese made from unseperated milk spiked

with additional cream.  The term shows up in English about 1583.


There is probably a better definition in the Oxford Companion to Food, but

it isn't to hand at the minute.





Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:38:43 -0700

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fresh Cheese and other ingredients


Years ago I entered a cooking contest and selected a recipe that called for cheese. I tried three different cheeses and documented the results.  And as noted, I also submitted the three versions for the judges to taste.  In this recipe at least, the different cheeses didn't have a significant impact on the end result.   I use the milk/lemon juice cheese for any medieval recipe calling for a fresh cheese and have had good results.





Wooden Spoon

Beltane Coronation


Kay the Innocent of BelAnjou (now known as Katira al-Maghrebiyya)

Category: An Italian dish


Tartara alla senese


Primary Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Buhler 19: unpublished manuscript. In The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy, the authors state: "Scholars think it is of Neapolitan origin. It contains many recipes similar to those in Maestro Martino's Libro de arte coquinaria....we think that this anonymous manuscript postdates Martino's work." Neither manuscripts is dated in The Medieval Kitchen, but the volume is limited to fourteenth and fifteenth century sources.


Original Recipe: Tartara alla senese

Piglia vinti amandole e falle ben bianche he pistale quanto se po. Da poi habi meza libra de zucaro, XII ova he una fogletta di late he doi quantani de canella he sale asufficientia he mezo quarto de probatura fresca tanto pistata che piu non bisogna pistarla. Dapoi inbrata una tiela de butiro he poi infarinala he desopra gli ponerai la dita compositione, Et pone la tiella sive padella lontano dal foco, coperta, cum foco moderato. Et nota che in le predita compostione ci potrai ponere uno ramaiolo de lasagne cote in buno brodo. He como sia cotto pone desopra zucaro he aqua rosata. (49v-50)


Translation Source: Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy, The University of Chicago Press, 1998.


Translation: Sienese tart.


Take twenty almonds and blanch them thoroughly, and pound them as fine as possible. Then take half a libra of sugar, twelve eggs, and a fogletta [about a cup] of milk, two quatani of cinnamon, and the proper amount of salt, and half a quarto of fresh provatura cheese, pounded until it need be pounded no more. Then spread a mold with butter, and then flour it. and put the mixture on top. And set the mold or pan far from the fire, covered, with a moderate fire. And note that you can put into the mixture a ladleful of lasagne cooked in good broth. And when it is cooked, put sugar and rose water on top.


Translation Notes: I attempted a translation using a French/English dictionary.

It wasn?t pretty. In The Medieval Kitchen, the authors discuss conversion of weight and volume measures and state that this is not possible unless you know their precise source. The names might be the same in various recipes, but quantities were not always the same. Therefore, they left them untranslated with the exception of fogletta. Therefore I made educated guesses for the others and tested them out.


Process Notes:


Starting with a guess that a libra is a pound and that a half pound of sugar equals about 1 cup + 3 T, I chose 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 T.


The authors note that provatura cheese is currently found in southern Italy and is like mozzarella, a pulled curd but one cannot assume that it is the same as the period cheese of the same name. They substituted cream cheese in this recipe, but used a "mild, reasonably soft white such as a very young French or Swiss tomme, or farmer's cheese or mozzarella" in another recipe from the same source that called for provatura. I chose to make a simple fresh cheese from milk and lemon juice, pressing until firm.


Note: I actually made 3 versions of the recipe while testing it out. One with cottage cheese, one with cream cheese and one with my own fresh cheese. This was the most disappointing result I had ever had when preparing an entry. I just wasn?t impressed with it, but I included all three versions in my entry just for fun. The only difference I could see was a slight variation in the color after cooking and the texture/taste was almost identical, yet each judge had a favorite! When I went to pick up my entry, I found the plate empty of all but a few crumbs, a couple of the whole almonds I had used to decorate it, and some very satisfied judges. I found out later in court that my most disappointing entry had won!                            


<the end>

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