Add a touch of Italian with some bocconcini.
- Bocconcini are a type of cheese – a fairly soft, mild-tasting Italian mozzarella with a little sweetness, made from curd.
- The term ‘bocconcini’ is from the Italian language and translates as ‘little mouthfuls’, while ‘bocconcino’ is the singular form of the word.
- Bocconcini were originally produced solely from water buffalo milk, however, in modern times cow’s milk is often added to the mix or used alone.
- The colour of bocconcini are white or creamy white, and they are small and roundish in shape, having a similar appearance to peeled hardboiled eggs.
- Bocconcini are made by stretching and kneading hot curd, which is then formed into small balls.
- Bocconcini are typically stored and sold commercially in either whey or water to help maintain freshness, and should not be stored for long periods, though their life can be extended to three weeks if the water is salted and changed regularly.
- Bocconcini are to some extent stretchy in consistency as well as somewhat springy to touch, and they easily take on other flavours.
- Italy’s city of Naples in Europe is believed to be the original home of bocconcini, in the 500s AD, before it began being produced elsewhere.
- Bocconcini are commonly eaten in salads, on crackers, and in pastas, frequently accompanied with olives and/or tomatoes, and they are also used as a melting cheese.
- Bocconcini are high in calcium, and are a good source of vitamin A and protein, and they have significant levels of cholesterol.
Condensed milk is as compact as they get.
- Condensed milk is a liquid used as a cooking item, produced from milk that has had the majority of the water content evaporated through a vacuum and heating process.
- The phrase ‘condensed milk’ typically refers to ‘sweetened condensed milk’, while the term ‘evaporated milk’ usually refers to the unsweetened variety.
- Sweetened condensed milk consistency is thick and oozing, rather than the typical flowing behaviour of milk, and it has a very sweet, creamy taste, while the unsweetened version is more like milk in flavour and viscosity.
- The Tartar people of Europe and Asia, are said to be the first people known to remove water from milk to increase volume per container, and would add water to use it at a later stage – a practice observed by Marco Polo, on his travels in the 1200s.
- Condensed milk is typically sweetened through the addition of sugar, after the milk has been evaporated; and the product is commonly sold in either tin cans or tubes, and is readily available in supermarkets.
- American Gail Borden Jr. was the first to invent condensed milk that was commercially viable, in the 1850s, though attempts had been made as early as 1809, by Nicolas Appert of France.
- To make sweeten condensed milk, roughly eleven parts of sugar are added to nine parts of evaporated milk, meaning that the product consists of 45% sugar, or sometimes more.
- Sweetened condensed milk is most often used in desserts, such as chocolate dishes, pies, cakes and sweets, as well as coffee.
- As a ration included in American soldier packs by the mid-1800s, condensed milk began to rise in public popularity, as war veterans returned home with knowledge of this new food.
- Sweetened condensed milk has high quantities of protein, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorous, selenium and fat, and it has many other vitamins and minerals.
Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences 2nd Edition, Four-Volume set, 2011, Academic Press, Google Books, https://books.google.com.au/[…]
Tzatziki is the perfect way to hide those greens.
- Tzatziki is a condiment that is often eaten with a variety of meats or breads, or used as dipping sauce.
- Typically tzatziki is made of Greek yoghurt, cucumber, and garlic, with various additions which can include mint, dill, other herbs, pepper, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and oil.
- The term ‘tzatziki’ sometimes has the spelling ‘tzatsiki’ or ‘tsatsiki’, and the word is believed to have come from the Turkish ‘cacık’, which has the possible meaning ‘chutney’.
- Tzatziki was popularised by, and is normally attributed to Greece, although the condiment is virtually the same as the Turkish cacık, and is similar to recipes from other nearby countries.
- Tzatziki is traditionally eaten as part of an entrée with pita bread as its accompaniment, or on gyros or souvlaki.
- The colour of tzatzki ranges from a white to a light mint green depending on the quantity or processing of the cucumber.
- Tzatziki is high in calcium, fat, sodium, protein and vitamin K, and contains many other vitamins and minerals.
- Generally tzatziki is served cold, and it is sometimes used as a salad dressing.
- The flavour of tzatziki is often strong and tangy, and it has a creamy texture, due to the yoghurt content.
- To make tzatziki, the yoghurt is typically strained for a period of time to remove excess water; the cucumber is grated or finely chopped and often squeezed or salted to draw out the moisture; and the garlic crushed or chopped; after which, all ingredients are mixed together.
Things can’t get cheesier without feta.
- Feta is a variant of cheese made from the milk of either sheep or goats, or most commonly both, although sometimes cow’s milk is substituted.
- The term ‘feta’ comes from the Greek word with the same spelling, or alternatively ‘pheta’, and can be translated as ‘slice’.
- Feta is a white pickled cheese, made from curd that has been drained, cut and salted, immersed in brine and aged for a period of time.
- Feta was made and consumed in Ancient Greece, and the cheese was mentioned in the 700s BC famous poem of the era, Odyssey.
- It can take three months or more for feta to fully age, in a combination of refrigerated and room temperatures, and it needs to be stored in a mild brine solution so that it does not dry out.
- The flavour of feta is typically a mix of sour, tangy and salty, and it is sometimes flavoured with oil, herbs and spices, or other ingredients.
- There are regulations in place for commercial feta as a ‘protected designation of origin’ product, and to be called such in the European Union, it must be made of at least 70 percent sheep’s milk, and made from animals raised in particular areas of Greece.’
- Feta can come in both soft and firm varieties, with the former generally more inexpensive but of a lesser quality, and the firmer cheese usually has more holes and a crumblier texture.
- Feta is commonly added to a dish for flavour, and it is eaten in salads; served with olives and oil; cooked in pies, grills, and omelettes; and also used in sandwiches.
- Feta is very high in riboflavin, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and fat, and is a good source of vitamin B12 and protein.
Have you ever seen a mouse nibbling on cheddar cheese?
- Cheddar cheese, also known as ‘tasty cheese’ and ‘cheddar’, that is also commonly called by the simple term ‘cheese’, is a firm cheese made from cow’s milk, that is highly popular around the globe, and it is commonly purchased in large rectangular blocks.
- Cheddar cheese is typically a cream colour or a light yellow, and the variants in colour can be a result of the diet of the cows, although the cheese is sometimes coloured yellow-orange, generally due to a colouring agent.
- The 1100s saw the invention of cheddar cheese, first made in Somerset’s Cheddar, a village in England, Europe, made in caves where cheese maturing conditions were superb.
- In the 1800s English dairyman Joseph Harding of Somerset devised a modern process to make cheese, especially cheddar cheese, which led him to be named ‘Father of Cheddar’.
- Cheddar cheese is made like typical cheese – heating the milk curds and whey, although it also includes a process of turning the curds, and adding salt, and the entire cheese-making process takes 3 to 18 months.
- The flavour of cheddar cheese can be sharp, tasty or mild, and the taste varies depending on the length of the maturing process, with the mild version being ready the quickest; and the cheese may also contain spices or other organic items to alter and enhance the taste.
- In Australia, cheddar cheese is the most commonly eaten cheese, with a share of more than 50% of the market, while in the United States cheddar is the second most popular cheese, behind mozzarella.
- The United Kingdom produced around 262,000 tonnes (258,000 tons) of cheddar cheese in 2008, while the United States produced roughly 1,467,000 tonnes (1,443,000 tons) in 2010.
- In 1989, the heaviest cheddar cheese was made by members of the Federation of American Cheese-makers, weighing 25,790 kilograms (56,850 pounds).
- Cheddar cheese is normally very high in calcium and high in protein, phosphorus, sodium, riboflavin, vitamin A, zinc and selenium, and it is also high in fat, like most cheeses.
Do you prefer soft cheese, like camembert?
- Camembert is a milk based, light yellow coloured cheese, that has a sweet taste, textures of creaminess and softness, and is typically shaped as a short cylinder.
- Camembert is said to have been invented in a Normandy village of the same name, in Europe’s France, in the late 1700s by a French farmer named Marie Harel, and the cheese was a common addition to French military ration packs during World War I.
- Camembert is traditionally made of unpasteurised milk, known as ‘Camembert de Normandie’, and those with French certification are still made this way.
- The initial process for creating camembert is done by solidifying a mix of warm cow’s milk, rennet and mesophilic bacteria, and the curd is extracted and the whey is then removed.
- Camembert curd is placed in a round form, and once all the whey has been removed, the cheese is sprayed with Penicillium camemberti fungus that has been dissolved in water and is left to ripen.
- It is a requirement by law, that three weeks minimum must pass, to allow camembert to ripen and then be packaged, and the cheese is commonly covered by a thin paper wrap or two, before being packaged and transported.
- The rind (mouldy layer) of camembert has generally been white since the 1970s, although historically it was a blue to grey colour, and was spotted brown.
- Commercial camembert is typically 10 to 11.5 centimetres (4 to 4.5 inches) in diameter, 3.2 to 3.8 centimetres (1.25 to 1.5 inches) in height and weighs approximately 200 to 250 g (7 to 8.8 ounces).
- Camembert is often confused with brie cheese, and while they are similar in texture and appearance, brie is usually much larger or sliced from a large wheel, ages slower, has a milder taste, and often uses a different substance to create the mouldy rind.
- Camembert is very high in fat, sodium, riboflavin, protein, calcium and phospherous; is high in vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, folate and vitamin A; and also contains many other vitamins and minerals.