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Ricotta salata (Salted Ricotta) PDF Print E-mail

This Ricotta is made from sheep’s milk and it is salted and matured for 10-20 days to make it firmer, for slicing. If aging is prolonged to 4-6 months, the cheese is hard enough to grate. It is a truncated conical shape and its average weight is usually between 0.5 and 1 kg.

According to traditional processing methods, the residual way from the cheese making is returned to the flame and is boiled (this is where the name “ricotta” comes from – meaning “re-cooked”). There is a first separation of the product and this is used to produce fresh ricotta. The other part remains on the heat until it reaches temperatures of over 90° C. Following the separation, the product is taken with a perforated ladle and poured into triangular cotton bags, like funnels. It is left to drain and is then squeezed to eliminate any residual water. The next day, the ricotta is removed from the bags, rolled in salt and placed on boards inside refrigerators or in cool rooms for aging. Before being put on sale, the ricotta is covered with bran or wheat semolina, which absorbs the moisture and keeps the product intact.

Ricotta salata was made by shepherds during the transhumance because the alpine pastures and the lack of usable roads at that time prevented them from returning home each day to sell the fresh product. Therefore, the ricotta was salted in order to prolong storage time.

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