Making Mizithra

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This is the perfect place to start your Post Apocalyptic cheese making adventure. Similar to ricotta, traditional Greek Mizithra is an acid and heat coagulated cheese that is easy to make and super versatile to use. Probably one of the oldest cheeses, shepherds from Cyprus, Crete and mainland Greece have been making and consuming Mizithra for centuries. In true Greek fashion, there is no specific recipe but a few general principles to follow to get the desired flavour and texture. Mizithra is a little different from most cheeses of this type because as well as being consumed fresh, it is also sometimes aged and air dried to create a hard salty grating cheese that does not melt when sprinkled over pasta. I absolutely love the hard Mizithra so I have decided to create my version of this Greek classic. If you are new to cheese making I recommend a book called Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking much of what you see here is inspired by this book.

What you need:

  • 4L of whole goats milk
  • 3/4 cup of lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Large pot to heat and hold milk
  • Large colander
  • Cheese cloth (I use a clean pillowcase)
  • Thermometer
  • Slotted stirring spoon

How it’s done:

  • Make sure all your equipment is washed and sterilized with boiling water.
  • Slowly heat the milk until it reaches a temperature of 90C (195F).
  • Remove the milk from the heat and let cool a couple of degrees to 88C (190F).
  • Slowly add the lemon a spoonful at a time, gently stirring.
  • Continue to add the lemon until the curd (white solids) separates from the whey (clearish liquid) and let stand for about 20 min.
  • Using a slotted spoon, slowly ladle the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let drain for 30 min.
  • Sprinkle the curds with the salt and give it a quick mix.
  • **If you desire fresh Mizithra you can enjoy it now as you would a ricotta cheese**
  • Slowly twist the cheesecloth to apply pressure, forcing the curds into a solid ball.
  • Hang to dry in a cool dark place until you have reached desired texture and taste (a couple of days to a few weeks).

Photo

 

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4 Responses to Making Mizithra

    • Sure can! In fact I wish I could get my hands on some myself. Also if you substitute cream for the milk you can make mascarpone as well!

  1. I followed your instructions, succeeded with cows milk, then did it with goats milk and failed. :( It never separated. Anyway to salvage it? I’m thinking not. Ialready tried adding more lemon juice

    • I had the same issue…It is because the Goats milk was probably ultra high pasteurized. Something in that process messes up the protein structure in the milk and it won’t coagulate properly…Sorry

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