Homemade ricotta and haloumi (in the jar).
Homemade ricotta and haloumi (in the jar). Contributed

LIVE + SAVE: Tips to make cheese glorious cheese

CHEESE is becoming a very expensive and indulgent pleasure these days.

Have you ever thought of making your own? It can cost a fraction of the price after the initial outlay for the utensils and ingredients and the flavour is so much better?

You will be surprised how easy it is to make.

I found the best way to start on the cheese making road was to start with Ricotta as it is a very easy cheese to make with ingredients you will have in your pantry.

Ricotta cheese originated in Italy when it was necessary to make the most of the by-products from cheese-making. After a cheese like mozzarella was made, there were still some small, soft curds floating in the whey.

These were then scooped up and ladled into baskets to be drained, then cooked again and made into ricotta cheese.

Ricotta actually means "recooked" in Italian.

You can make Ricotta on its own and also when you become more adventurous you can make the Ricotta from the left over whey of other cheeses you have made.

My first experience with cheese making was Camembert that took quite a while to make and wasn't edible in the end.

I think it may have been a bit ambitious for a first try so I found the local home brew shop had the best way to start and that was to buy a cheese kit (you can always ask them to order one in for you) or you can buy the kit on line as well as ingredients, source recipes and information.

When your confidence is higher you can learn how to make the more complicated cheeses such as Chervè, a white, creamy cheese made from goat's milk from your supermarket or blue cheese can be made at home, the sky is the limit.

You can also add fresh herbs to your cheeses.

Two web sites I found are www.cheesemaking.com.au and www.madmillie.com.au that have all you need to start.

For my own full cream ricotta recipe visit http://www.seniorsnews.com.au/news/make-your-own-fresh-full-cream-milk-ricotta-recipe/3089890/.

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