Three weeks ago I had a leftover milk glut. I made lots of things, including paneer and ricotta. The paneer went into a pea and paneer curry (which I’ll post another time … so many recipes from one milk mistake!). So, leftover milk lead to me having a dish of home-made ricotta. But, as I confessed last week, I don’t really like ricotta. Ha!
I know that we can learn to tolerate, like or love many different foods. What we like is informed by where we’re from, the rules we grow up with, what our friends and family do and don’t like. And, it’s also a way of explaining who we are to the world – if you eat meat, you don’t eat sugar, you’re plant based or a foodie or a McDonalds lover.
(Interested in learning more? Read Bee Wilson’s First Bite, it’s fascinating. Or just this essay – in 1989, a lawyer called Jeffrey Steingarten was approached by Anna Wintour to be American Vogue’s food writer. He said yes, obvs. Quite the career change. Having agreed to take the job, he realised there were many foods and flavours he loathed – clams! dill (yep, foul stuff TBH)! lard! He taught himself to like these foods. Yes he’s unnecessarily rude about Greek food – skip that nonsense and work onwards to how he overturned his tastes and found it much more exciting to eat, especially in restaurants, because he now liked everything on a menu and everything was up for grabs. Hoorah!).
So I took my own, small, ricotta based challenge, sought the help of my lovely Insta helpers and got on it. I did have spinach and ricotta cannelloni, courtesy of Dad Storr. I can report that I’m Still Not Keen on cooked ricotta, sorry dad (though thank you for lunch). So I made some more ricotta to further experiment.
Molly Wizenburg’s second book, ‘Delancey’, is where I first learned about making ricotta (though I used Victoria Glass’s recipe). So, I returned and took some breakfast inspo from Molly. She writes about smearing fresh ricotta onto hearty toast and adding fruit compote or freshly roasted fruit. I have no fruit compote and it’s a terrible time of year for fruit, so I went for some heaped teaspoons of my dad’s raspberry jam. MUCH BETTER, and my dad makes fucking amazing jam. The sharp jam with the sweetish cheese was just lovely and would be an ace breakfast.
Verdict: good! I learnt that ricotta is just basically cream cheese, and I like creamy things. Kinda simple, very quick, and very nice indeed.
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